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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' SysWOW64 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 26,189 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 7,824 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 21,202 times)

‘Pro’ Treeview and ListGrid VBA controls

The professional version of the treeview control has exceptional performance. Even with tens of thousands of nodes it will load quickly and remain highly responsive. It also has several new features including drag and drop.

Our new ListGrid combines most of the functionality of the ActiveX Listview and Flexgrid controls with many extra useful features. It is the result of extensive beta testing by some of our treeview users, thanks guys!

The screenshot of the demo below gives an idea of just some of its capability.

Professional ListGrid control

The Pro Treeview and ListGrid are available for 32/64 bit Excel and Access. The Excel version will also work in Mac, one or two features are disabled for Mac but we’re working on it. Unlike our free treeview they are self contained in their own files and designed to work more like real controls.

For more details and if interested to try either of these ‘controls’ please contact us:

Pro Treeview enquiry

Pro Listgrid enquiry

Please note that the pro versions are paid versions. Pricing available upon request by using the links above.



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 554 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Dean Arnold (8/27/2017 4:14:36 AM)

Thanks...makes sense and works great. Two more questions, if you don't mind.

I assume if I want the dblClick event to do something similar (e.g., open the selected record for editing when the node is double clicked) I would need to first modify the mctlControl_dblClick() routine to behave similar to the mctlControl_Click() routine.

Secondly, is there a function that collapses the tree to a certain level? When I initially load the tree I would not wish to show four levels of detail.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (8/27/2017 11:51:28 AM)

The dblClick event is already trapped in the node class to start Edit-mode (if enabled). Follow from where Click is trapped in the Node class to 'Event Click' and replicate with the dblClick, but best not with EnableLabelEdit

The default .Expanded property for nodes is True, so change any to False as required while populating but before calling Refresh.

Alternatively, yes there is a method to expand the tree to a specified level, look at .ExpandToLevel in the documentation (in the Excel demo)

mcTree.ExpandToLevel lExpansionLevel:=1, bReActivate:=False ' don't activate before calling refresh


Comment by: Wolfgang Backes (8/30/2017 10:20:44 AM)

Congratulation for this very neat and admirable piece of software.
After adding a root node without caption I lateron got error 13 (type mismatch) in Sub BuildRoot. The error is caused by the code line
                    .Caption = cRoot.Caption
due to the fact, that cRoot.Caption is not available here.
Of course, there are plenty of trivial ways to circumvent the error, for example
1) Without changing your source code: the client program could be required to supply a value for paramter 'vCaption'in method 'AddRoot' of class clsRoot. But in my opinion an optional parameter should never be compulsary.
2) I think a caption is always supposed to be of type String. Therefore, adding an appropriate default value of "" for the optional parameter vCaption solves the problem.
3) You could change the culprit line by e.g.
.Caption = IIf(IsMissing(vCaption), "", vCaption)


Comment by: Peter Thornton (8/30/2017 2:17:46 PM)

Hi Wolfgang,
I think you're the first person in 4 years to stumble on that! It didn't occur to us anyone would include an empty caption;)

The Caption as displayed of course is always a string, but as a property might want it retained as a string or numeric, or something else, so I think best to keep it as a Variant. Your suggestion 3) is probably the best way to handle it for all scenarios, or almost the same

If Not IsMissing(cRoot.Caption) Then .Caption = cRoot.Caption


Comment by: Julian (10/1/2017 4:29:29 PM)

Hi Jan:

I use your treeview in acces based application using the last version available (BUIL 025). It works really great except for one issue. I would like to be able to scroll the treeview with the mouse wheel (I am on Access) but it does not work in this version.

Reading past comments on your web I saw that this problem had already been issued by Thomas Koester back in 2015. You suggested him to adapt a piece of code to have it working and apparently (he was an expert programmer) he succeded in doing that. I followed that link and tried to adapt that code to my application but beeing honest I am far from having enough knowlege to do that and I failed several times.

Is there any way you could help me with that. Is there other alternatives (2 years have past and maybe there is something new)



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/2/2017 7:58:51 AM)

Hi Julian,

Wheel scroll is implemented in our (paid) pro versio of the treeview. If you are interested, send us an email (see address near bottom of page).


Comment by: TungSon Nguyen (10/10/2017 9:13:21 AM)

I am using your treeview with my app.
And now, I am asking for your support on my problem:
On the treeview already created, can I add a Parent node for a Root node? If yes, would you please show me the way?

Thank you and best regards.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/10/2017 1:25:25 PM)

Hi TungSon,

That would probably take removing the rootnode, adding a new rootnode and then adding your removed rootnode to the new root.


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