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Form Controls stop working after December 2014 Updates

Background
Form Controls are often used in Excel templates or workbooks to provide a clickable button that runs a macro or to facilitate special input values using a checkbox or drop-down list. After applying the December 2014 update to Microsoft Office, these controls may stop working.

Symptoms
You may receive errors such as:

  • "Cannot insert object"
  • "Object library invalid or contains references to object definitions that could not be found"
  • "The program used to create this object is Forms. That program is either not installed on your computer or it is not responding. To edit this object, install Forms or ensure that any dialog boxes in Forms are closed."
    Note In this last error message, the Forms text may also be replaced by the ID of the control (consisting of a long string of letters and numbers).
  • Additionally, you may be unable to use or change properties of an ActiveX control on a worksheet or receive an error when trying to refer to an ActiveX control as a member of a worksheet via macro code.

Automated Solution
An automated 'FixIt' solution is available from Microsoft:

KB 3025036 - "Cannot insert object" error in an ActiveX custom Office solution after you install the MS14-082 security update
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3025036/EN-US


Manual steps:
After updating, the cached control type libraries (extender files) may be out of sync. To resolve this issue, you must delete the cached versions of the control type libraries (extender files) on the client computer. To do this, perform a search on your hard disk for files that have the ".exd" file name extension and delete all the .exd files that you find. These .exd files will be re-created automatically when you use the new controls the next time that you use VBA. These extender files will be under the user's profile and may also be in other locations, such as the following:

  • %appdata%\Microsoft\forms
  • %temp%\Excel8.0
  • %temp%\VBE

Note: Ensure that your file extensions are viewable prior to performing the search.


Scripting solution:
Because this problem may affect more than one machine, it is also possible to create a scripting solution to delete the EXD files and run the script as part of the logon process using a policy. The script you would need should contain the following lines and would need to be run for each USER as the .exd files are USER specific.

del \%temp%\vbe\*.exd
del \%temp%\excel8.0\*.exd
del \%appdata%\microsoft\forms\*.exd
del \%appdata%\microsoft\local\*.exd
del \%temp%\word\8.0\*.exd
del \%temp%\PPT\11.0\*.exd

Additional steps:
If the steps above do not resolve your issue, another step that can be tested (see warning below):

  1. On a fully updated machine and after removing the .exd files, open the file in Excel with edit permissions.
  2. Open Visual Basic for Applications > modify the project by adding a comment or edit of some kind to any code module > Debug > Compile VBAProject.
  3. Save and reopen the file. Test for resolution.

If resolved, provide this updated project to additional users.

Warning: If this step resolves your issue, be aware that after deploying this updated project to the other users, these users will also need to have the updates applied on their systems and .exd files removed as well.

If this does not resolve your issue, it may be a different issue and further troubleshooting may be necessary.

References with further information:

Additional Notes:
If you are using a system with multiple versions of Office installed, all versions will need to be updated at the same time or other problems may exist. If you are creating new workbooks using the new controls on an updated machine, these workbooks then require all clients to have this update installed or they will error when the book is shared.

Getting Help With This Issue
Event 1 Software's technical support team is available to provide a limited amount of assistance with carrying out the resolution(s) identified above as billable technical support or under the scope of a technical support plan. This is a Microsoft issue however, caused by an update to Microsoft Office. This issue could manifest itself in any Excel solution (not just Office Connector, Liberty Reports, or Forecast) that employs the use of Forms controls or ActiveX controls. As such, we recommend that users contact Microsoft support or their preferred Microsoft technical support / I.T. representative for assistance.