Difference between Activex and Form controls

There are two types of controls in Excel – ActiveX and Form controls. These controls can be accessed from Developer tab in Controls Section as shown in the image below.
difference between activex and form controls 1

1) Form controls are simple to use and are more integrated into Excel while ActiveX controls are loaded in excel by separate dlls (dynamic link library).

2) ActiveX controls are more flexible in designing. Customization is extensive in ActiveX controls whereas Form controls are Dialog sheet controls and don’t have events.

3) ActiveX controls trigger events while Form controls call macros assigned to them.

4) Excel should be in design mode to use ActiveX controls unlike Form controls.

difference between activex and form controls 2

To customize, just right click on the control and go to properties. Many user computers by default won’t trust ActiveX, and are in ‘disable’ mode. This sometimes needs to be manually added to the trust center in Excel options as shown in the image above.

5) Forms controls can be used on worksheets. Forms controls can also be placed within embedded charts in Excel. whereas, ActiveX controls can only be used on worksheets.

6) ActiveX Controls do not work in Excel for MAC and is only for PC. Where as, Form control can be used on both Mac and Windows systems. If Excel file is created or modified with ActiveX controls in Windows then controls will not work in user forms in Excel for Mac. In Mac, excel workbook opens and controls appear, but they do not work. This is the main drawback in using the Active X controls. Better opt for form controls, if the worksheet needs to work seamlessly irrespective of operating systems.

These are the differences between ActiveX and Form controls. Have any questions? Please feel free to contact us here.

  • 25 Feb, 2015
  • Excel for Commerce
  • difference between activex and form controls, Excel Consultant, Excel Expert,



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