Lost ability to use Alt+F11 to get into the VBE

This problem had been bothering me for a while on my wife's PC.  It happened on her old PC running Office 2003 on XP, and just happened to me again last week when running Office 2007 on Vista.  I went through all the natural steps of disabling all add-ins, and nothing fixed the issue... till about 30 seconds ago...

My (Microsoft) keyboard has an "F Lock" key on it.  I'm not really sure why this key is needed, to be honest, but apparently it turns off the function keys.  So basically, if the light on the keyboard is off, so is my ability to get into the VBE by pressing Alt+F11.  What a pain!  But at least I know how to fix it now.

I don't seem to recall seeing this key on any other keyboard.  Anyone else run into this or any other weird ghosts that can affect the VBE?

5 thoughts on “Lost ability to use Alt+F11 to get into the VBE

  1. Hey Ken,

    I had a problem recently of having the VBE for CorelDraw X3 completely unavailable after installation (winXP Home Edition)! Though on my laptop (using XP Pro) it works fine. For my desktop I had tried eveything I could think of (adding some keys to the Registry, re-installing after completely uninstalling, any solution I could find on the internet). Just today, I downloaded a VB .NET solution for CorelDraw and they included some DLLs (like Interop.CorelDraw.DLL) and the next thing I know, I have access to the VBE!! 🙂
    The only thing I can assume for the "Ghost" in this case is the fact that I'm using XP Home SP2 on my desktop and my laptop was using XP Pro and had no problems (plus, all the computers at my job are XP Pro and they all have no problems accessing the VBE).

    Your blog reminds of the time a friend of mine couldn't connect to his wireless internet. I took the laptop home to check it out and noticed a WiFi button that apparently disables wireless connectivity and he had pressed it by accident. It's such laugh when you hit a keyboard button by mistake and you don't realize what's wrong with you're computer. When it happens to me, I always feel like "Duh!" when I find out what happened! lol

  2. Hey Joseph,

    When I got my first laptop a couple of years ago, it never occurred to me that there would be a physical switch on the side to shut off the wireless card. In addition to that, it shipped out of the box with it turned off. I suppose that this is the right way to do things, but still, it left me scratching my head for a while!

    Worse, I'd already installed the wireless router and locked it down. After I finally figured out how to turn the wireless on, I think it took me about 2 hours to realize that I was surfing on my neighbour's connection not mine. I'd turned off the SSID broadcast, so couldn't even see my own network!

  3. Hey Ken,

    Some of the widgets in Vista took over the Alt+F11 combination. Drove me bananas.

    My Acer laptop and a couple MS keyboards have an F lock key.

  4. F-lock is a curse on humanity. I hate it. Whoever came up with it should be forced to eat keyboards until they apologise.

  5. I'm using a Logitech wireless keyboard on this laptop. The F MODE button on here switches between normal F key usage to shortcut buttons: Word, Excel, back, forward, print, save....etc. It had me totally confused at first, but the pictures on the keys saved me from looking foolish.

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