Why are form-related commands or controls on the ribbon disabled?


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.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

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