You try to add a Form control or an ActiveX control to your worksheet, but the commands in the Controls group on the Developer tab or a specific control command button that should be available from the Insert command are disabled.

Cause and Resolution

There are several reasons for this:

  • The following controls are unavailable in Excel workbooks, and therefore always appear dimmed. These controls are only used with Excel version 5.0 dialog sheets:



Button image

Text Field

Button image

Combo List - Edit

Button image

Combo Drop - Down Edit

Button image

Run Dialog

  • Excel might currently be in data entry mode for a cell, which makes the Insert command unavailable. You might have unintentionally entered data entry mode for a cell that is obscured by a control, or the gridlines are hidden and you cannot easily see that the cell is in data entry mode.

    To resolve this, press Esc to exit cell data entry mode.

  • You might have set Disable all controls without notification in the ActiveX settings section of the Trust Center.

    To resolve this, use a less-restrictive setting.

  • You might be trying to add an ActiveX control in a document that was signed by an untrusted publisher.

  • The Properties command Button image is never enabled for the Label Button image, Button Button image, and Group box Button image form controls.

  • The Properties Button image and View Code Button image commands are disabled if Excel is not in Design mode and you have activated the ActiveX control.

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You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community or get support in the Answers community.

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