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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 10938 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 2782 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 9642 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 301 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (11/10/2014 11:32:05 AM)

Hi Michael,

This is a problem that may be caused by an add-in loaded on your system. Adobe has a reputation causing this for example.


Comment by: Nikola Petanjko (11/10/2014 3:44:12 PM)

Thanks ! thanks ! Thanks for your wonderfull treview

I need to add 3 features
- collapse all from root (or from selected node)
- expand all from root (or from selected node)

- collapse all + expand up to deep level N
keeping collapse since any branch from level N

I will start them now, if you already have such features, thanks for sharing.


Nikola Petanjko


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (11/10/2014 4:04:30 PM)

Hi Nikolai,

Yes, such functionality is already present. Check out the ExpandToLevel method of the tree class.


Comment by: Lance Duvenhage (11/14/2014 11:31:53 AM)

Hi Nicole, not sure if you found a solution for your problem. I used the code to read from different tables with one to many relationships. And can do the surge function you need, use the unique ID to run a query based on the selected node. May be along way of doing things but it works very well. Can share if it needed. What I would like to be able to do is when you rename the a node, how can this be saved in the table? My second question will be almost the same, If I add a new node how can this be saved in the table. My last question will be, the tag function, how to use multi select in to run the query. (Have an idea but have not tried it) Any advice will be helpful.


Comment by: Ake (11/14/2014 11:14:39 PM)

Excellent job!


Comment by: Peter Thornton (11/17/2014 11:30:47 AM)

Hi Lance,
1. By "rename a node" I assume you mean if the user manually edits a node with double-click or F2. Look at the AfterLabelEdit Event, slso see the example in the demo if you try and edit the caption to include "123" or "456".

2. You didn't explain if adding a new node is instigated by the user or forced by your code. Either way you should be able to know the details of any new node and update your table, either in real time or perhaps after user presses an update button.

3. "MultiSelect" is not implemented. Suggest use checkboxes, depending on your scenario the TriState option might be useful (see the demo).


Comment by: Aaron (12/10/2014 12:42:32 AM)

Was this control written in VB.Net? I have created a ActiveX Control in C# and successfully made the dll, which I am able to bring into a VB form, but would like to use it directly on a excel worksheet. When I select the ActiveX control and try putting it on the worksheet is gives the error message "cannot insert object". Do you know how to get ActiveX objects to work on worksheets?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (12/10/2014 9:24:38 AM)

Hi Aaron,

As the page title says: it is entirely done in VBA.
In fact, it may even be possible to update the code so it works on a worksheet as well.


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