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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 on how to implement the treeview in your own projects.

Download the treeview sample Excel workbook (including documentation) (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 6628 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 1715 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 5400 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 202 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Chris (4/10/2014 10:41:32 PM)

Yes, I found it in the Excel project - thank you. I have it working fine now. BTW, The Access example database doesn't contain it and is still on build 024.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4/11/2014 11:46:47 AM)

Hi Charles,

You probably have to refresh the tree after changing the icon: mcTree.Refresh


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4/11/2014 11:47:40 AM)

Hi Alberto,

I see no reason why that shouldn't work with our treeview?


Comment by: Charles Sestrem (4/11/2014 4:01:40 PM)

Thanks for the feedback Jan Karel.

I'm using the mcTree.Refresh line, just had not posted the previous comment.

is a pity unable to update the icon.

My project need to use dynamic icons when the user makes a change of status.


Status = Free -----> green ball
Status = Closed -----> red ball

My Code Example:

'Mycode Example

Sub REfreshTree()

If mcTree Is Nothing Then Exit Sub

Set cNode = mcTree.ActiveNode

Select Case Forms!FormPrincipal!Status.Column(0) 'Set Status

Case 1

cNode.Caption = Forms!FormPrincipal!Name
cNode.ImageMain = "ICON1"
cNode.ImageExpanded = "ICON1"

Case 2

cNode.Caption = Forms!FormPrincipal!Name
cNode.ImageMain = "ICON2"
cNode.ImageExpanded = "ICON2"

Case Else

cNode.Caption = Forms!FormPrincipal!Name
cNode.ImageMain = "ICON3"
cNode.ImageExpanded = "ICON3"

End Select


End Sub


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4/11/2014 4:35:10 PM)

Hi Charles,

Actually, you can update the icon, it just takes a bit of convincing to have the tree update it.

This seems to work:

cNode.ImageMain = "FLGUSA02"
cNode.Expanded = Not cNode.Expanded
cNode.Expanded = Not cNode.Expanded


Comment by: Greg Maxey (4/18/2014 3:37:21 PM)

I have used your tree view control in a utility for mapping content controls in Word. Mapped controls (their XML) can then be displayed in a userform using your control.

I am getting an error "duplicate key" and the source is in your clsNode Public Function AddChild procedure whenever my XML contains nodes with "similar" but "different" base names. For example the following XML will cause the error:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<CCInstaMap xmlns="http://USAOCCInstaMap/GKM">
<Name xmlns=""/>
<name xmlns=""/>

Is their any way to make the key in your moTree.Nodes collection case sensitive? Currently it treats
"/ns0:CCInstaMap[1]/Name[1]" and "/ns0:CCInstaMap[1]/name[1]" as the same key when in fact they are different.

I'll be happy to share the utility with you if you need to conduct any test. Thanks.



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (4/18/2014 7:24:22 PM)

Hi Greg,

Do you happen to have "Break in class modules" turned on?


Comment by: Peter Thornton (4/19/2014 12:01:16 PM)

Hello Greg,
When a node is added the Key (if included) is added as the Collection item's key; if a duplicate is attempted the error is trapped and referred back to tell you "don't do that"!
Collection keys are not case sensitive, normally that's useful but in your case unfortunately it isn't. To demonstrate -

Dim c As New Collection
s1 = "/ns0:CCInstaMap[1]/Name[1]"
s2 = "/ns0:CCInstaMap[1]/name[1]"

c.Add 100, s1
c.Add 200, s2 ' error #457 duplicate key

It would be difficult to rewrite to accommodate for case insensitive keys, and in doing so might add new problems for others as the whole point about keys is they should be unique, irrespective of case.

At least three workarounds come to mind, two of make use of other built in methods and properties (eg Tag) and a third where you maintain your own look up table. If you want to send something to test with I'll have a look (my address is in the headers).


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