Connect to Excel files: old '.xls' versions

The 64-bit version of TX DWA offers the best performance but is not compatible with older Excel file types. You can learn more about bit type conflicts here

Discovering .xls files

To determine whether an Excel file is too old to work with 64-bit TX DWA, right-click the file and examine its properties. If the file type shows up as .xls, the file only supports 32-bit processing:

You may also discover this conflict when trying to add a .xls file as an Excel data source in TX DWA.  If you have a newer version of Microsoft Office installed but have retained older file types, you will get the following error:

The 'Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0' provider is not registered on the local machine.

If you have an older version of Microsoft Office (2003 or earlier) you may receive an error about bit version conflicts instead.

Handling the bit version conflict

There are a number of ways to deal with this problem:

  • Use a 32-bit version of the TX DWA software.  This is the simplest solution, but 32-bit processing may be slower.
  • Update your Excel files to .xlsx using "Save As" and choosing the .xlsx file type.  This remedy is possible if you have a Microsoft Office version newer than Office 2003.  It requires updating your files one at a time.
  • Convert your .xls files to text or .csv files so they can be read with the Single or Multiple text file data source. 
  • Use a third-party program to convert your .xls files to .xlsx all at once.  This requires finding and possibly buying a conversion utility.
  • Run both bit versions of TX DWA at once, as shown here.

Note on converting to .csv

It is possible to convert many .xls files to .csv format at once with no third party software, as shown in this article (external site).  In addition, if you have many similarly named and identically formatted .xls files, this solution may allow you to read your files into TX DWA with the Multiple Text File data source.  This could potentially be a huge time savings and greatly simplify your project.  For these reasons, conversion to .csv is a popular solution for dealing with legacy spreadsheets.

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