Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Saving and Restoring Settings and Data
To open Windows Update without traipsing through Backstage view, find it on your
computer’s Start menu (hint: in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, type update in the Start menu
search box). In Windows Update, click Change Settings to review your current update
settings. We concur with Microsoft’s recommendation: select Install Updates
Automatically (Recommended). With that setting in place, important updates are downloaded and
installed automatically. Optional updates—ones that might add features or functionality
but are not critical to your computer’s security—are installed only at your specific direction.
You do that by opening Windows Update, clicking the optional updates link if it appears,
selecting the updates to install and clicking OK, and then clicking Install Updates.
INSIDE OUT Which version is installed, 32-bit or 64-bit?
Part of keeping Office up to date is installing and maintaining current versions of Office
add-ins. Because most add-ins run on either 32-bit Office or 64-bit Office (but not
both), you need to know which you have before you download add-in files. However,
once Office is installed, it’s not easy to tell whether you’re using the 32-bit or 64-bit
version because the outward differences are few. One way to tell is to click the File tab
in any Office program and then click Help; next to the version number under “About
Microsoft program” you’ll find either “(32-bit)” or “(64-bit).”
That method can be tedious, especially if you have several machines to check. A value
in the registry provides another way to determine which is installed. In the HKEY_
LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook key, a
value named Bitness is set either to x86 (for 32-bit Office) or x64 (for 64-bit). (That’s on
computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. On systems with a 32-bit version of
Windows, you can find the Bitness value if you omit \Wow6432Node from the
aforementioned registry path. But that’s hardly necessary, because a system running 32-bit
Windows can run only a 32-bit version of Office.) A simple script or batch program can
read this value and tell you which version is installed, and you don’t even have to open
an Office application.
Saving and Restoring Settings and Data
You’ve probably developed a routine for regularly backing up your documents and other
files. (If you haven’t, you should!) Without a reliable backup, data you have created or
purchased can disappear in an instant due to hardware failure, a power surge, theft, ire, or any
of countless other calamities. A good backup also provides a source for moving information
to a new computer or replicating it on your other computers.
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