evaluates to act if a control that affects act is actively being used, and to norm otherwise.


  • ControlActive can be used to switch between a faster computation to be done while controls like sliders are being moved, and a slower computation to be done once the controls are released.
  • ControlActive[act,norm] can also be used to trigger evaluation of norm when controls are released.
  • ControlActive[] is equivalent to ControlActive[True,False].
  • ControlActive[act,norm] is effectively equivalent to If[$ControlActiveSetting,act,norm].


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Basic Examples  (1)

Change the display while controls are being used:

Scope  (2)

The arguments of ControlActive can be any expression:

Use ControlActive to switch between a low-resolution and a high-resolution version:

Applications  (2)

Only emit a sound when the manipulator is not actively used:

Use a lower sampling when actively manipulating:

Properties & Relations  (2)

By using the second argument of Dynamic, you can get an effect similar to ControlActive:

Plot functions effectively use ControlActive for the PerformanceGoal setting:

Wolfram Research (2007), ControlActive, Wolfram Language function,


Wolfram Research (2007), ControlActive, Wolfram Language function,


Wolfram Language. 2007. "ControlActive." Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Wolfram Research.


Wolfram Language. (2007). ControlActive. Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center. Retrieved from


@misc{reference.wolfram_2024_controlactive, author="Wolfram Research", title="{ControlActive}", year="2007", howpublished="\url{}", note=[Accessed: 21-June-2024 ]}


@online{reference.wolfram_2024_controlactive, organization={Wolfram Research}, title={ControlActive}, year={2007}, url={}, note=[Accessed: 21-June-2024 ]}