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While working with an Excel 2007 VBA addin (.xla), suddenly all the VBE command bars (Main menu, Edit, Debug , ..) have turned gray. I can no longer do things like insert files, block comment code, use bookmakrs, or use the debug buttons (like call stack). Nothing is clickable anymore. The keyboard shortcuts still work (F5, Alt-F8, ..) but I don't know them all for what I want to do. Even the context menu items are gray. See screen-shots for examples. I tried Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Word VBE interface and it all behaves the same.

I searched high a low for a similar problem and got stumped. All VBA/addin permissions are unchanged and set to "allowed", and I even tried loading up the applications in "Safe" mode using the Ctrl key trick. Obviously I have shut down apps and restarted, and have rebooted the computer.

screen 1

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Has anyone heard or seen a problem with Office like this before? Help!

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Make sure your file is not set to readonly.. i think something like this happened to me years ago.. something stupid it was. – ppumkin Jan 23 '12 at 15:25
I wish. I have tried with new documents and many different office applications. I can open/save documents fine. – ja72 Jan 23 '12 at 15:34

The problem is solved now. I think this is related to MZ-Tools VBA addin that I use, and it was somehow stuck with a window open outside of the screen. About the only thing I could do when I right clicked on a file in the project explorer is "review code" which I tried and when I closed the window my VBE toolbars were enabled again.

Maybe this will help someone else with the same odd-ball situation in the future.

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This is not restricted to add-ins. If Excel is busy, the VBA Editor is frozen. The obvious examples are during auto-save and when editing a cell. It is most irritating when Excel is waiting on a window you know nothing about as in your case. – Tony Dallimore Jan 24 '12 at 11:56

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