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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 20,814 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 6,039 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 16,941 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 477 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/8/2016 2:34:02 PM)

Hi John,

You can read the data as dumped from the tree with code like this:

Private Sub cmdReadData_Click()
    Dim vData As Variant
    Dim lLevel As Long    'levels are in columns
    Dim lRow As Long
    Dim nRoot As clsNode
    Dim nNode As clsNode
    Dim nParent() As clsNode
    Dim lPrevLevel As Long

    With mcTree
        vData = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Value
        ReDim nParent(1 To UBound(vData, 2))
        For lRow = LBound(vData, 1) To UBound(vData, 1)
            If Len(vData(lRow, 1)) > 0 Then    'new rootnode
                Set nRoot = .AddRoot("Root_" & Format(lRow, "00001"), CStr(vData(lRow, 1)))
            End If
            For lLevel = LBound(vData, 2) + 1 To UBound(vData, 2)
                If Len(vData(lRow, lLevel)) > 0 Then
                    If lLevel = 2 Then
                        Set nNode = nRoot.AddChild(, CStr(vData(lRow, lLevel)))
                        Set nParent(lLevel) = nNode
                        Set nNode = nParent(lLevel - 1).AddChild(, CStr(vData(lRow, lLevel)))
                        Set nParent(lLevel) = nNode
                    End If
                    lPrevLevel = lLevel
                End If
    End With
End Sub


Comment by: John Murphy (8/8/2016 4:16:27 PM)

That's absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

I can now make changes within the TreeView, dump them and then reinstate them, which is exactly what I wanted.

Thanks very much for your help and efforts, and for responding so quickly.

Thanks a million!


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/8/2016 4:43:43 PM)

Hi John,

You're welcome!


Comment by: Adam Taylor (8/8/2016 10:36:07 PM)

Hi - GREAT product, thanks for sharing. I have an Access-related issue in relation to this. I've got the treeview shown as a subform, and sometimes if it falls over it can revert to showing with the flags. It's working great other than strange behaviour in the event of an unhandled error in my application.

Is there a way to check for this happening and protect against it? Some simple command that can switch it back on? Or do I need to close and re-open the form as seems to be the case at present?

Thanks in advance,



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/9/2016 9:23:17 AM)

Hi Adam,

My guess is that the treeview reverts to the default settings when your VBA code runs into a runtime error, but I can't really tell :-) I'm surprised it even keeps showing as I'd expect a code reset to remove the tree altogether?


Comment by: Peter Thornton (8/12/2016 3:02:05 PM)

Hi Adam,
Can you repro' when "it falls over". Add something to flag or debug when the subform's open and close events fire.

In some scenarios the subform seems to want to close and immediately reopen, eg print preview and report view. If that happens the userform that contains the treeview will have gone which might explain what you describe.

If this sounds familiar to any Access folk and in particular how to handle this scenario please contact me off-line!


Comment by: Tony Matyas (8/23/2016 4:23:25 PM)

the All VBA Treeview shows an icon part on the left and an editable node caption part on the right.

As I use XML files as data base and want to display also the corresponding XML node tags, I would like to enlarge the treeview by inserting a tag label, preferrably displayed between these two parts.

/Icon Part/     | /additional Tag Label with fixed length showing the XML tag/ | /Node Caption/

It would be of great help to receive some code assistance how to integrate this new Tag Label control into your clsNode and clsTreeView classes.

The easier task would be to shift the clsNode controls and related EditBox to the right, but how to provide for a consistant representation of this new Tag Label and ist display?

Gratefully yours


Comment by: Peter Thornton (8/24/2016 11:45:26 AM)

Hi Tony,

That's certainly possible: [icon] / [checkbox] / [tag-label] / node-caption. If applicable tag-labels could be included individually only for nodes only which have a tag caption.

It would be too much to give full details here but to point you in the right direction look at how the respective node controls are added, and adapt for your tag labels. Although it's relatively straightforward there are some small details to include, if this is for a professional project it might be cost effective if we implement it for you.


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