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Tuesday 20 January 2015

Excel Tip: Have your buttons stopped working?

Today's post refers to a problem that started occurring in early December but I have had a number of clients raise the problem in recent days, as I think the Christmas break has probably meant the problem wasn't noticed by many.

As a result, I thought it was probably still worth letting readers know about it in case they were experiencing it for the first time, or just had not managed to correct it yet.

The most common symptom of this problem is any ActiveX buttons in your spreadsheets ceasing to work. If this has happened to you and you haven't yet found a solution, read on.

The problem stems from a Microsoft security update on 9th December and applies to the 2007, 2010 and 2013 versions of Office. If you have automatic updates switched on, you will have had this update.

The update has caused problems for ActiveX controls and the most visible problem is that existing ActiveX buttons, which you may have in your spreadsheet to run macros for example, just do nothing when you try to click on them. Note that Form Control buttons are unaffected.

Full instructions from Microsoft to deal with the problem are available here:

In most cases, the following will work:

In File Explorer, search for all files ending in .exd, then delete these files (they are temporary files anyway and new ones will be created next time you use  the ActiveX controls).

At the Microsoft link above there is also a script that you can run to do this if you prefer.

Before you go, just a quick reminder that the 20% discount offer on Mynda Treacy's Excel Dashboards course runs out on Thursday, so enrol now if you don't want to miss out.

Excel Dasboard Course

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  1. This did not work for me. I even re-installed office.

    Any other suggestions?

    1. I'm afraid that's all I've got Adrien. There are more suggestions in the Microsoft link in the post. Good luck.

  2. I had an old program developed in VB6 that fixed my issue with Excel. I remember compiling all the old controls into it so it would work on operating systems that predated them. Eventually, this was not required but now seems to be required again as MS does not seem to be carrying the old controls in Excel.

    1. I tried all the recommended patches and spent hours trying to fix this without success. This did the trick but you will need to mess about with VB6 to make yourself a fix.

  3. found a tip from other pages that work in our office. for laptop with 2 extension monitors, go-in display setting and set the "scale" to same % on all monitors and restart.