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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 8142 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 2132 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 7245 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 225 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7/2/2014 11:26:52 AM)

Hi Jaap,

Thanks for the screenshot, looking good.

Peter Thornton has been working on a pro version of the treeview which would include drag&drop, but I'm not sure of the status.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (7/3/2014 9:47:26 AM)

Hi Jaap,

Drag and drop can work well with the treeview but have held back from making a demo for various reasons, partly as it's difficult to make a generic demo which typically will need considerable adapting for specific applications. In the meantime we'd be happy to help implement D&D in your app on a consultancy basis. If that might be of interest please contact either of us (emails inside the demo).


Comment by: luke (7/9/2014 8:10:30 AM)


I am trying to use the MSAccess version; this is/was an MDB. Whenever I tried to Design the main form frmDemo I get the error 'You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time'.

I am the only one opening it, is only open once on my local drive.

I tried upgrading it to Access2010 accdb , still same problem. Then tried to build the accdb from scratch and import all the forms and code (added the FM20.dll reference). Everything compiles ok, but still same message ;do not have exclusive access...'

I am using Win7 Pro on a 64bit machine, with MSAccess 2010 32bit


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7/9/2014 10:35:01 AM)

Hi Luke,

I'm no Access expert, but the Access demofile contains specific instructions on how exactly to implement the treeview in your own Access database. Perhaps that description gives you some pointers?


Comment by: Davide (7/18/2014 10:46:21 PM)

I cannot change or insert icons in the access version.
I can select the properties and try to change the image by selecting "..." but the new image is not loaded and the icon doesn't change.
Ther's a way to do that?



Comment by: Muneeb Mansoor (7/21/2014 9:04:26 AM)

Hi Guys,

First of all, amazing work on this. Exactly what I was looking for!

I have one question though. Is it possible to use a drop down menu as a child instead of static values? For example, I would have a parent node called Attributes and then multiple child nodes with the options to select values from a drop down. Possible?

Thank you.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7/21/2014 9:01:38 PM)

Hi Davide,

I'm sorry, I am not sure how you are trying to add pictures, can you detail out the steps?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7/21/2014 9:02:33 PM)

Hi Muneeb,

You could use the click event of a node to add new nodes to it at runtime if that is what you mean?


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