Most Valuable Professional

View Jan Karel Pieterse's profile on LinkedIn subscribe to rss feed
Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Newsletter Archive

File crashes Excel!!

Save my workbook!
The best tool for salvaging problematic workbooks.


Excel VBA for Financials (Dutch)

Third party tools

Speed up your file

The best tool to optimise your Excel model!

Repair your file

Stellar Phoenix Excel Repair
Best tool to repair corrupt Excel sheets and objects
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 17032 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 4759 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 14232 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 428 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (1/27/2016 7:37:08 PM)

Hi Paul,

There is no point in using our control in VB6 as VB6 is strictly 32 bit and can hence use its own treeview control.


Comment by: Paul Charbonnet (1/27/2016 9:37:18 PM)

The MSCOMCTL.OCX that contains the treeview has serious compatibility problems with Windows 8 and above


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (1/28/2016 7:35:25 AM)

Hi Paul,

Got it. I'm afraid we have no plans to port the thing to VB6. But you are free to use our ideas to try and port it yourself. I think the base principles would be very much the same.


Comment by: Joseph Volence (1/29/2016 7:50:34 PM)

I have this working very well in Access 2010, but there is a slight delay when building a large tree that I did not experience with the mscomctl tree.

I have the tree subform in a popup form, and this causes the whole form not to display until the tree is built.

Is there a way to build the tree async in the background, and then display when it is fully built - while, in the meantime, allowing the rest of the form to be usable?

I toyed with the idea of pre-loading the popup form and setting it to "visible=false" before it is used, but I can't get the form to stay hidden. Once the tree is loaded, it unhides the form.    I also tried the "acHidden" argument of docmd with the same result.



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (1/29/2016 8:55:34 PM)

Hi Joseph,

I will ask our Access expert to have a look at this. In the mean time, we are also developing a high performance treeview control. This one will not be for free however.

If you are interested, let us know, so we can arrange a beta version for you to try.


Comment by: Yossi Dukes (2/3/2016 9:14:53 PM)

Hi, I am very interested in your treeview control. I'd like to be part of the BETA program if possible.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (2/4/2016 11:09:44 AM)

Hi Yossi,

You can already use the control. as far as I'm concerned it is past beta stage and ready for production use.


Comment by: Valton (2/5/2016 7:28:11 PM)

Very good development. They are at another level of programming.


Have a question, comment or suggestion? Then please use this form.

If your question is not directly related to this web page, but rather a more general "How do I do this" Excel question, then I advise you to ask your question here:

Please enter your name (required):

Your e-mail address (optional but if you want me to respond it helps!; will not be shown, nor be used to send you unsolicited information):

Your request or comment:

To post VBA code in your comment, use [VB] tags, like this: [VB]Code goes here[/VB].