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Home > English site > Articles > Treeview control

An MSForms (all VBA) treeview


If you have ever used the Treeview control from the "Additional controls" section, then you know what a versatile control this is to show hierarchically organized data. There are a couple of problems with this Treeview control:

  1. Compile errors due to a difference in how the control libraries are registered in 32 bits Windows' System32 and 64 bit Windows' SysWOW32 folders. If you distribute a file that was saved in 64 bit Windows, containing one of the "Microsoft Windows Common Controls 6.0" (The Treeview control is one of them) and with the reference set to "mscomctl.ocx", people using 32 bit Windows will almost certainly have problems. At best it could entail removing both the control and the reference and replacing both, but at worst the user's Excel can crash when trying to load the file and run the app.
  2. The standard Treeview control, like all non built-in ActiveX controls, cannot be used in 64 bit versions of Office.

Especially the second point convinced me it is time to develop a custom-made Treeview "control", that only uses the native Office forms controls. I started building this a couple of weeks ago and after some time I tricked Peter Thornton into helping me with it

The screenshot below shows both our new Treeview (left) and the Windows one (right) side-by-side in their simplest display mode (read on, there are even prettier screenshots further down the page):

Treeview controls
Two treeviews, left: VBA tree, right: Common controls tree

In the following pages I'll show what our treeview can do and explain how to put it to use in your own VBA project.

MAC Office and 64 bit Office Compatible!

Our treeview was tested (and works) on 64 bit Office. It also works on MAC office. Tested applications include:

Excel 2000
Excel 2003
Excel 2010
Excel 2010 (64 bit)
Excel 2011 (MAC Office)
Excel 2013 (32 bit)

Access 2003
Access 2010 (32 bit)
Access 2010 (64 bit)

Windows screenshot:

Treeview demo on Windows Excel
Treeview demo on Windows Excel

Mac screenshot:

MAC screenshot of our treeview demo form
Screenshot of treeview on Mac Excel 2011


The basic plumbing and code structure of this treeview control was devised by me. However, without the help of my friend and fellow MVP Peter Thornton, lots of functionality would not have been available now. For that I sincerely thank Peter!

Furthermore, Access MVP Ben Clothier was kind enough to make the necessary adjustments to incorporate the treeview in an Access form

Also: Fellow Excel MVP Ron De Bruin ensured the treeview also works on MAC Office 2011, Thanks Ron!

Copyright and Licensing

All code in the treeview is (c) JKP Application Development Services and Peter Thornton (the Authors). It remains our sole intellectual property.

However, we're offering this treeview to you at no cost. You get an unrestricted license for use in any VBA project you like. You're free to modify any part of the code at will.

We do have some rules:

We're always interested to see how people have implemented the VBA Treeview. So please feel free to send a screenshot with a brief description or relevant details.


You use this control at your own risk: The authors accept no liability whatsoever for any damages which may arise due to the use of our treeview.


Many, many hours were spent developing this treeview. Although we developed it for use in our own projects, we are giving it away for free!

Nevertheless, we would really be pleased if you actually express your appreciation in a more "tangible" form. So here is a paypal donation button at your disposal:


The Excel workbook contains most of the documentation (on the tabs of the workbook), so I recommend you to at least download the Excel version. The Access version has instructions on its main form on how to implement the treeview in your own projects.

Download the treeview sample Excel workbook (including documentation) (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 12273 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 3115 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 10498 times)



Other controls

Another often used control is the calendar control. This control has the added problem that it has been deprecated with Office 2010 (where we're supposed to use the date picker control). Frankens Team created an all-vba alternative using very similar techniques to what we've done here.

Ron de Bruin created a Date Picker control for MAC Excel.


Showing last 8 comments of 313 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Hesham (1/22/2015 12:25:16 PM)

I added the subform to mail form the displays detail infor on students, but How to use the tree control to filter the main form?


Comment by: Lucio (2/23/2015 5:20:03 PM)

Ho visto il Treeview e mi interessa nella versione full..
quanto costa?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (2/23/2015 5:35:44 PM)

Hi Lucio,

Can you please explain a little bit more? The download already contains the full version?

NB: I'm afraid I do not speak Italian :-)


Comment by: Jerzy Orysiak (2/24/2015 7:52:12 PM)

Great piece of code, congratulations. It is a pity "drag and drop" functionality is not included (anyway I'll try to add this). I'd be grateful for hints how to handle context menu (declaring in standard module public variable containing ObjPtr? to clsTreeview object?) What is a simplest approach?
Also, I've spotted weird behaviour of checkboxes (Build number 25). Is it the last version?
1) On preloaded nodes checking node causes checking this node and all subtree "hanging" on that node and "Third state" for all direct ancestors (not sure why) and it is OK.
2) After adding some nodes, checks made on new ones goes crazy! All added ancestors of checked node are checked as well which I suppouse is not correct.
3) "checks" without icons appears as "a" letter.

The second question is: is there any property like "that node cannot be used as a parent"?

And last at this moment. I havn't found public types for export/import data for populating treeview. One for treeview object (1 data record only) and array of variables containg available nodes data (key, parent?, text, tag, font , Path?, etc). More of that it also tells which properties might be manipulated (background colors for instance should be used with care since they show for instance "selected node" , "cut subtrees") WITHOUT digging deeply inside your code.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (2/25/2015 1:11:37 PM)

Hi Jerzy, lots of points!
Drag & Drop is not builtin, we had to stop somewhere but it’s possible to implement. There are two approaches: you can work with ‘BeforeDragOver’ and ‘BeforeDropOrPaste’ events or “simulate” D&D which is more complicated but can use custom icons. The hard work is already included in the treeview, your D&D will end up calling the builtin Copy or Move methods.

A right click context menu is more straightforward. Trap node’s MouseDown (or Up) with Button=2 and “Raise” it as an Event similar to the other events. Validate as required then create a normal CommandBars popup menu (don’t forget to destroy it). Buttons in the popup can 'OnAction' ordinary macros in a normal module, you may need to temporarily pass node objects to the normal module before showing the popup but be sure to destroy any additional treeview/node references.

I don’t follow what you are saying in 1) and 2), but if it’s about TriState checkboxes some changes to the logic when nodes are added and events for ‘indirectly’ changed checkboxes will be included in the next version (026).
Re 3) If you are not using checkbox icons the checkbox is simulated with Label controls to look like a small square, and with the Marlett font the “a” should appear as a tick. Is Marlett is installed in your system?

To retrieve data see the code in the demo behind the button “Dump Data”, cmdGetData_Click, GetData1 and GetData2. These are only examples, adapt to selectively retrieve the data you want.

Indeed colours are temporarily changed with Selection, Move & Copy, but the default or your applied colours should be automatically restored, ie after changing the selection or done with Move or Copy. Play with the 'Icons' demo and in particular the alternate shaded nodes.


Comment by: Jerzy Orysiak (2/26/2015 12:57:12 AM)

Hi Peter,
Many thanks for a prompt reply.
1) I do have Marlett installed and when I inserted a label to userform with caption "a" with Marlott font I got correct "tick". Also, I traced the line 1017 (clsNode)
.Caption = IIf(mlChecked, "a", ""): Debug.Print "%%" & mctlCheckBox.Name, mctlCheckBox.Font, mctlCheckBox.Caption

the resultes were like:
%%CheckBoxNode8             Marlett     a
so they were correct.
When I realized that checkboxes in "Demo treeview" and "Demo treeviews with icons" work COMPLETELY different way (but they shouldn't - both go through the same function UpdateCheckbox), I gave up.
Maybe it's because i've got excel 2003 and some functionalities were lost (or work another way) during conversion. It seems I have to go back to common controls SP6.
Anyway, thanks a lot


Comment by: Peter Thornton (2/26/2015 12:20:23 PM)

I replicate your "a" in Excel 2000. Strange, I'm sure we tested in 2000/2003 but it seems when the Label is added at runtime, although Marlett is correctly applied the default font continues to display, hence "a" not a tick.

Normally this VBA Treeview should work in all Excel & Word versions since 2000 and Mac 2011 (though Access only since 2003). However for your 2003 I suggest you use checkbox icons, see the demo code and documentation. There are two sets of checkbox images bundled in the demo or you can find your own.

Yes there is a difference in the way the checkboxes work in the two demos, with TriState and not with TriState.


Comment by: Jerzy Orysiak (2/26/2015 6:12:50 PM)

I found the reason for "a" tick.
Setting font to "Marlett" is not enough.
lines 1626, 2053(about)
.Font.Name = "Marlett"

should be followed by:
.Font.Charset = 2

(at least it works on my system


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