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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 (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 15808 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 4287 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 13187 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 400 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/15/2015 2:49:22 PM)

Hi Thomas,

Have a look at this thread on MrExcel:


Comment by: Thomas Koester (10/19/2015 8:11:32 AM)

Hi Jan,

thanks a lot. That's what I was looking for.



Comment by: Jaap van der Sijp (10/20/2015 9:18:39 AM)

If you use icons in the tree view and FullWidth=False, then the icons are placed in the label control. When clicking the label the background colour gets changed (default blue), but the all white pixels in the icon also become blue. Going to FullWidth=True solves that , but may not be what you want. An alternative is to edit the image and change all white pixels (FFFFFF) to "nearly" white (FEFEFE). Then only the text part background will turn blue. this looks a lot cleaner.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (10/20/2015 9:00:06 PM)

Thanks for flagging the typo in the instructions sheet, the demo has been updated.

As you say with fullwidth=true icons appear in their own image controls, but with fullwidth=false icons are embedded in the node label.

With fullwidth=false, normally which RGB pixels in the icon adopt label's backcolor (eg when active and given vbHighlight) depend on which, if any, RGB was defined as the mask colour when the image was saved.

It seems the demo icons were given a white mask, I'm sure there was a good reason at the time!


Comment by: Paul Katz (10/24/2015 10:27:05 PM)

Hi - thank you for developing this control and making it publicly available. It seems that I have a good business need for it. I'm hoping you can answer a couple of questions before I dive in to decided if it's the right control to use.

I'm developing an Excel app, and have data which will source the TreeView control in a worksheet. The size of the table is about 7 columns x 4000 rows. The data are sorted left to right (root, lvl1, ..., lvl6). Users will be expected to navigate the tree and drag/drop different node selections to list boxes on my form.

(1) Will the control reasonably manage data of this size?
(2) Do you have a BuildTreeFromTable() type routine to automatically populate the control from this Excel range (or would I need to program that myself)?

Thanks again for your time,


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/25/2015 2:24:49 PM)

Hi Paul,

That number of nodes should not be a problem for the control. But it is easy enough to test by just adding them all to a single rootnode.

Then if you're happy with the performance, writing a bit of code that reads your table and builds the tree is fairly straightforward. Perhaps if you expand all comments on this page you'll find some sample code?



Comment by: Pavlo (11/12/2015 9:20:02 PM)

Does this tree view allows word wrap, if node text is too long?
If not, are there any chances to add such feature?


Comment by: Peter Thornton (11/16/2015 12:56:55 PM)

Hi Pavlo,
Normally treeviews do not display word-wrap or multi-line text, however the horizontal scrollbar should automatically adjust to accommodate the longest text in any node.

If your source text includes vbLf and/or vbCrLf (or in Mac vbCr), replace these with " " (Chr(182) + space) before populating, and convert back if reading.

Try manually editing a node (EnableLabelEdit=true, then dbl-click or F2 on a node) and entering or pasting some long multi-line text. Then F2 again and have second look. We've done a lot of work to try and handle this nicely!


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