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Ever considered supporting the ActiveX Controls (like checkbox or radio button)?


I’ve been using DocumentBuilder to insert checkboxes into Word documents and it’s fine except that when an end-user opens the Word document, it’s quite awkward for them to change a checkbox from “true” to “false”. (Unfortunately you can’t just click the field to toggle it.)

I see that Word has a set of ActiveX components that have richer functionality and I’m wondering if you have any plans to implement a way (perhaps with DocumentBuilder.InsertCheckbox) to insert the ActiveX version rather than the native form field.

That would be very helpful!


Well, nevermind on this question.

I see now that I can use the native form fields, plus Document Protection, to get the result where users can click checkboxes to enable/disable them.

I’m all set.

For “standard” checkboxes to start working “properly” you need to turn the document protection on.


You can also turn protection on/off for individual sections in the document if you need to https://reference.aspose.com/words/net/aspose.words/protectiontype/
ActiveX controls are supported, but during import/export of Word documents only. It is not possible to insert ActiveX controls using DocumentBuilder. Programmatic access to ActiveX controls’ is also not available. You can only access the complete OLE data of such a control.
If you really want to use ActiveX controls then I can imagine it could be possible to have a “template” document that contains all types of such controls and you can copy the Shape node (such control will be represented as a Shape in Aspose.Words) from the template document to your document. You might also be able to find some Win32 functions to access data and properties stored in such a control (property bag). But that of course requires some programming effort.
It looks like we can add the ability to access ActiveX controls data in the future. And maybe allow to create them programmatically too. We will log this feature request.
But in the meantime you can try using standard form controls and turn document protection on.

Do we have this functionality of accessing activeX controls in the most recent version?
I have radio buttons in my form and I need to extract their values and I need it urgently.


Thanks for your request. Unfortunately, this functionality is not yet available. You will be notified as soon as this feature is implemented.
Best regards.

Alexey, is there any change in the status of programmatic access (Java version) to activex controls, in particular with activex checkboxes?

Thank you for your inquiry.
Unfortunately, this functionality is not yet implemented.
Once this happens we will notify you immediately.

Is there any estimate for when this might be available?

Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately, at the moment I cannot provide you any estimate regarding this issue. We will keep you informed regarding its status and let you know once it is resolved.
Best regards,

Is there a way to make this a higher priority item in Aspose’s development queue (i.e., if it were paid for)? Just exploring options.

Thank you for your inquiry.
I will add your request in my monthly report. It is move this task in the queue to implement. We will notify you of any developments of this issue.

Hi Eric,
Thanks for your request. As an option you can purchase Priority Support. Please see the following link for more information:
Could you please describe why this feature is so important for you? Maybe in your case you can use Form Fields instead of ActiveX controls. Aspose.Words fully supports Form Fields.
Best regards,

Thanks for the link, I will review it.

ActiveX is important to us because we do a lot of work with electronic forms, and we’re trying to follow Microsoft’s best practices. The ActiveX controls were introduced in Office 2007, at which point they labelled the older controls as “legacy”… from which I assume they may be dropped in a future release.

We could in theory use the legacy controls, but it would require a lot of rework of existing documents.

Mostly we are concerned with being able to programatically set/unset pre-existing checkboxes, and adjust some of the other properties like background color. So if just that was supported in ActiveX it would solve a large part of our problem.

Thanks for your request. Actually, ActiveX controls is older technology than Form Fields. I suppose you mean Content Controls (Structured Document Tags). These controls were really introduced in MS Office 2007.
So to make sure we understand each other correctly, could you please attach the document with controls you would like to work with? I will check it and provide you more information.
By the way, I do not think that Form Fields will be dropped in the future versions of MS Office.
Best regards,

Sure thing Alexey. I have attached a sample document that has 2 checkboxes.

Hi Eric,
Thank you for additional information. Yes, you are right, they are ActiveX controls. But I would really advice you consider using form Fields instead of ActiveX.
Best regards,

Understood… my challenge however is that my customers have a large number of existing documents that all use ActiveX exclusively.

Thank you for additional information. Unfortunately, in such case, I cannot suggest you any workaround.
Best regards,

Hi Alexey,

Earlier in this thread Roman referred to the possibility of programmatic access to ActiveX checkboxes (and perhaps other controls too). Has there been any movement on this? As I referred to earlier, we have a strong need to iterate through ActiveX checkboxes inside a document and check/uncheck them based on the name assigned to the control. Thanks.

Thanks for your interest in Aspose.Words. Unfortunately, this feature is not available yet. We will inform you on any developments regarding the feature which will allow you to access to ActiveX checkboxes.
Best regards,