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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:

And please mention the source of the treeview (including a link to this page) in your helpfile, manual and/or on your about screen.

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 (click the "How do I...?" button) on how to implement the treeview in your own projects.

Download the treeview sample Excel workbook (including documentation) (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 19,833 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 5,705 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 16,251 times)

Pro version: Ready for Beta testing

The professional version of the treeview control with much better performance, capability to handle thousands of branches, drag and drop and etcetera is ready for beta testing. Contact us if you would like to participate in the beta program. Note that this version will not be freeware.

Listgrid control

We have also release a ListGrid control for beta testing. Contact us if you would like to participate in the beta program. Note that this control will not be freeware.
Listgrid control



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.

We are currently developing a listgrid/listview control. Contact us if you would like to participate in the beta program. Note that this control will not be made available as freeware.



Showing last 8 comments of 464 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Peter Thornton (6/18/2016 2:16:06 PM)

Hi Bill,

For some reason adding pictures to image controls in a Frame in Access don't seem to stick. Try doing same in a temporary form in say Excel, then select and copy the image controls to the Frame in Access, can do all in one go.

The treeview 'pro' and listview alternative are at alpha stage, contact us off-line if interested to test either.


Comment by: Bill (6/29/2016 4:06:28 PM)

Hi Peter

I now have the control working (almost) perfectly. I say "almost" because I can't get the icons to resize. I've tried resizing them myself, changing font sizes, node height etc. but they just stay the same. Any idea what I could be doing wrong?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (6/29/2016 4:57:06 PM)

Hi Bill,

You should create larger icons yourself and update the picture properties of each icon in the icon frame on the userform.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (6/29/2016 5:55:51 PM)

Hi Bill,
It depends what you mean by "get the icons to resize". If you mean size the control (label or separate image control depending on 'fullwidth'), change these constants to suit:
mcIconSize and mcIconPad (in points, typically in Windows 1 pixel = 0.75pt)

But if you mean resize the actual image you need to size the original source to suit and update as Jan Karel suggested.

FWIW sizing of icons to the supplied image is handled automatically in the 'pro' version. Did you get my reply in response to your enquiry about the 'pro' ?


Comment by: Pete Danes (6/30/2016 4:03:30 PM)

Is there a hard-coded limit in this control? I am working on an implementation that has around 20,000 nodes, up to 23 levels deep. Can I expect any difficulties with this?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (6/30/2016 4:08:03 PM)

Hi Pete,

No limits in the control, but with that many nodes the pro version is probably your best bet.

I'll forward your details to Peter Thornton.


Comment by: Tony Matyas (7/8/2016 8:45:26 AM)

maybe this small code modification can provide some help using TreeView Demo Version 026's documentation sheets:

When I tried clicking or sorting procedures/properties drop downs on the documentation sheets (clsNode, clsTreeView) this always resulted in 1004 Error (the name object doesn't refer to a range; the reference to a constant or a formula Fails, ...). I don't know this to be an exceptional error, however.
My Work around simply changes 2 code lines in module modDocNav from .RefersToRange to .RefersTo
' -----------------------
' a) PT, original code DrpDwnProcedures_Change
' -----------------------
' sProc = ActiveSheet.Names("ProcsList").RefersToRange(idx, 1)    
sProc = Range(Sheets(ActiveSheet.Name).Names("ProcsList").RefersTo)(idx, 1)

' -----------------------
' b) PT, original code SortProcListing
' -----------------------
' Set rng = ws.Names(sName).RefersToRange
Set rng = Range(Sheets(ws.Name).Names(sName).RefersTo)


Comment by: Peter Thornton (7/8/2016 4:06:22 PM)

Hi Tony,
Not sure why you're getting that error. AFAIK it's been working for most users for a long time with no problem. Could you send me the file so I can have a look. Also say which Excel version you're using.


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