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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 21,808 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 6,390 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 17,694 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 494 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Bruno MARCHAL (11/6/2016 6:35:31 AM) Direct link to this comment


First of All Thanks for all the Job Done !

It seems it doesn't work with an accdb file
I've tried to include the reference of Form 2 which is located in another folder but it can't compile the code due to problem of Uftreeview definition that is defined in user32.dll I assume.

Any tips?

I intend to Donate cause i am also interested in Drag & Drop Features. How does it work?



Comment by: Peter Thornton (11/7/2016 1:14:22 PM) Direct link to this comment

Hi Bruno, thanks for your comments!

I'm not sure why it's not working as an accdb for you. I can simply convert the demo mdb file to an accdb with SaveAs. Or, create a new accdb and drag the modules from the mdb. To add the Userform see the CheckUF function. Also get the v26 class modules in the Excel download if you haven't already. If stuck contact me off-line and I'll return an accdb (my address is in the headers).

We've only implemented Drag & Drop in the 'pro' version (main feature is performance with much larger treeviews). This is currently available as beta in Excel & Word, and soon for Access.


Comment by: Kerry (11/9/2016 4:14:17 AM) Direct link to this comment

First I wanted to say thanks a lot for creating the treeview control. It is a very useful functionality, and I wish MS had the control control available by default for 64 bit. I was wondering if you have code that can be used to populate the treeview control you created recursively. Thanks again.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (11/9/2016 11:43:13 AM) Direct link to this comment

Hi Kerry, thank you for your comments!

Without knowing how your source data is arranged and the hierarchical relationships are defined, itís difficult to suggest a generic recursive approach to populate the treeview.

If you canít find an example to adapt maybe we can sort out something privately for you.


Comment by: Rob Sloan (11/17/2016 2:04:04 AM) Direct link to this comment

This looks truly amazing. Hoping to likewise tackle the recursive issue to populate the tree view. Have a somewhat simple table: PK_Id, Name, Parent_Id (with Self Join to PK_Id) which can go X number of levels deep. I will take a look for some examples. But if you have any ideas, that would be great!


Comment by: Peter Thornton (11/17/2016 2:57:04 PM) Direct link to this comment

Hi Rob,
Even with your description afraid I can't visualise how your data is organised, or even if you actually need a recursive function.

If you're new to recursive functions perhaps the key thing to consider is when variables should be be passed ByRef or ByVal. Typically with hierarchical structures the 'Level' counter should be ByVal as it increments, so it can reset after a given branch has completed.

There's a recursive function in the demo for reading the treeview. If stuck you can send me an example of what you've got off-line and I'll take a look.


Comment by: Rob Sloan (11/22/2016 4:53:04 PM) Direct link to this comment

I was able to use a recursive CTE in SQL (the backend for this database) and populate the treeview. The last couple things I am stuck on are 1) creating new properties for the clsNode that would only show the checkbox at the root node and 2) if possible, making certain root nodes read only (cannot unselect check box after marked as checked on a "for each cnode in mctree.nodes"). This is going to work wonders!


Comment by: Peter Thornton (11/30/2016 1:17:50 PM) Direct link to this comment

Hi Rob
#1 Adapting to show checkboxes only for certain nodes is quite difficult but not impossible.

#2 Simplest way to prevent un-ticking a checkbox would be something like this, in the NodeCheck event on the form

Private Sub mcTree_NodeCheck(cNode As clsNode)
    With cNode
        If .Checked Then
            .Tag = "Checked"
        ElseIf .Tag = "Checked" Then
            .Checked = True ' explain to the user?
        End If
    End With
End Sub


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