I've inherited responsibility for maintaining a custom InfoPath form for a content type in a SharePoint Online task list. I believe all functionality is native to InfoPath.

The form has multiple fields, but after some recent modifications, users have noticed that when focus is on a rich text box, it's not possible to immediately click on a drop-down and change its value. As I've not used this form myself previously, I can't guarantee the accuracy of the user feedback that the functionality has changed.

The rich text boxes all have the 'Enable enhanced rich text content...' checkbox checked in the rich textbox properties menu. The SharePoint columns are all set enhanced rich text.

The behaviour is slightly different depending on the browser used:

  • Chrome (Version 91.0.4472.77 (Official Build) (64-bit)) and Edge Chromium (Version 91.0.864.64 (Official build) (64-bit) ) show the entries in the drop down list while the left mouse button is pressed, but do not allow you to select an entry, the highlight never moves and focus returns to the rich text box when the button is released
  • Firefox (89.0 64-bit) allows you to change selection successfully while the button is pressed, focus returns to the rich text box when released
  • IE (Version 1909 (OS Build 18636.1556) everything works as expected, focus shifts to the drop-down as soon as it's clicked on and entry selection works perfectly

Browser compatibility mode settings make no difference to behaviour.

The issue isn't present on other text type fields.

Is there anything settings wise within SharePoint or InfoPath that is likely to have caused this, or do I have to consign it to the often unresolvable category of 'Browser Issues'?

  • Is it required that the users be able to input rich text moving forward? Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 15:18
  • @A.k.A.Fritz sorry for the late response, yes the rich text fields must remain editable
    – Arronical
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


The reason Chrome / Edge Chromium and Firefox are not permitting selection/editing while IE will permit selection/editing is because when rendered in a browser, InfoPath Forms Services renders the rich text controls using an ActiveX control.

ActiveX technology was not adopted by other browser vendors for security reasons and used by mid-2000’s Microsoft as a technological lock-in to their products and browser.

What you are experiencing with Chrome / Edge / Firefox is the xHTML/dHTML fall-back the server delivers those browsers in lieu of the ActiveX control being rendered. As such: It does not function.

Your users can only use IE or Edge Chromium’s IE Tab functionality to properly use the form.

See documentation here

Here’s the relevant quote from the above link:

In some cases, even if the control is supported by InfoPath Forms Services, it may not work the same way in all browsers. For example, you can use rich text boxes in browser-compatible form templates. However, users only see the full range of rich text formatting options when they fill out the form in Internet Explorer.

Although the above quote is referencing InfoPath Forms Services on SharePoint 2007 - it also applies to the following versions: 2010 & 2013 and later incarnations of SharePoint that support InfoPath Forms Services (including SharePoint Online classic UI sites).

The server-side rendering never changed between any of the versions - only the XML schema supported out-of-the-box by the XSN/XSF definitions.

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