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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 9112 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 2376 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 8207 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 255 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9/3/2014 11:51:08 AM)

Hi Tobias,

Right now the double-click event is used to enable editing a node in the treeview.

This is handled in the clsNode class by this event sub:
Private Sub mctlControl_DblClick(ByVal Cancel As MSForms.ReturnBoolean)

You could remove this part:

        If moTree.EnableLabelEdit(bDummy) Then
            moTree.EditMode(Me) = True
            EditBox bEnterEdit:=True
        End If

and replace it by a call to a new sub in the clsTree class:

moTree.DblClick Me

In the mcTree class you would have to add (at the top):
Event DblClick(cNode As clsNode)     'Node dblclick event

Also in clsTree, add:

Friend Sub DblClick(cNode As clsNode)
    RaiseEvent DblClick(cNode)
End Sub

Finally, in your userform you should now have a dblClick event available to the variable you used to hold the instance of the clsTree. E.g.:

Private Sub mcTree_DblClick(cNode As clsNode)

End Sub


Comment by: Andy Barber (9/9/2014 1:03:11 PM)

the 'How Do I' section for the MS Access version of this states we need the MS Forms 2.0 library, however this is not installed on some of the machines I need to run this code on and Microsopft states the the FM20.dll file is not a re-distributable file. Any ideas how I can get round this. your tool is excelent and I would really like to use it.

Please reply to attached email


Comment by: Yves (9/9/2014 3:32:58 PM)

Hi Jan,
Using your treeview to prototype a development in access...
Do you see a way to use images from files instead of having to glue them in form control?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9/9/2014 9:24:12 PM)

Hi Yves,

You should be able to load an image from a file, but you would have to do the plumbing yourself:

Me.Image1.Picture = LoadPicture(strPath & "DeerPicture.jpg")


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9/9/2014 9:25:21 PM)

Hi Lex,

Odd, any Office installation should have the Forms dll installed. If you insert a userform in e.g. Excel VBA, does the reference not turn up?


Comment by: Yves (9/10/2014 10:29:47 AM)

Hi Jan,
thanks for your reply.
Do you mean image should first be added to form control?
Assigning image in tree don't seems to be accepted...

I wrote
cRoot.ImageMain = "c:\xxx.bmp"

and got error 5 Invalid procedure call or argument...


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (9/10/2014 11:16:40 AM)

Hi Yves,

I mean that the control currently does not support adding images from file, but that you can add that support yourself :-)


Comment by: Yves (9/10/2014 11:38:37 AM)

OK, will do if/when I have time to do :-)

Your tree code is already big help for me and I understand he can not do everything!


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