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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:

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 21,159 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 6,170 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 17,215 times)

Pro version: Ready for Beta testing

The professional version of the treeview control with much better performance, capability to handle thousands of branches, drag and drop and etcetera is ready for beta testing. Contact us if you would like to participate in the beta program. Note that this version will not be freeware.

Listgrid control

We have also release a ListGrid control for beta testing. Contact us if you would like to participate in the beta program. Note that this control will not be freeware.
Listgrid control



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 484 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Peter Thornton (8/24/2016 11:45:26 AM)

Hi Tony,

That's certainly possible: [icon] / [checkbox] / [tag-label] / node-caption. If applicable tag-labels could be included individually only for nodes only which have a tag caption.

It would be too much to give full details here but to point you in the right direction look at how the respective node controls are added, and adapt for your tag labels. Although it's relatively straightforward there are some small details to include, if this is for a professional project it might be cost effective if we implement it for you.


Comment by: Scott Cordwell (10/2/2016 11:36:56 PM)

Great work guys. I've been using the tree view in Access 2007 using the runtime for a while now. I just installed onto a Windows 10 PC that has Access 2013 retail on it as well. I'm getting a "System Error &H8007007E (-21470224770)" when opening the form with the treeview on it in the runtime environment. Then vba generates a "2926 - Because of your security settings and current security policy, this control has been disabled...." error. The front end works fine if opened using Access 2013 Retail? I've checked trusted locations etc, with no result. Any tips would be appreciated. I'll be getting the commercial version when released.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/3/2016 7:04:31 AM)

Hi Scott,

Are you saying you have two Access versions installed side by side? In my experience this often leads to problems with the references. I'd advise to try whether it works on a single-install of Access 2013.


Comment by: Scott Cordwell (10/3/2016 7:37:01 AM)

Hi Jan,
Yes, I use Sagekey Software's Access Runtime install builder to install the front end application and runtime on all PCs regardless of whether they have Access Retail on them or not. Works really well (for years) and has never adversely affected any existing Access installs. I suspect it's either a permissions issue or an FM20.dll version problem on this particular PC. I'll have to do some more digging.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/3/2016 4:45:20 PM)

Hi Scott,

OK, please let us know if you keep having problems or if you find the root cause.


Comment by: Kieran Shirey (10/12/2016 2:16:04 AM)

My license has expired. Is it possible to move from Access 2013 to Office 365 with a database that has a Treeview Control in it?


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/12/2016 6:53:49 AM)

Hi Kieran,

you should be able to provided you install the 32 bit version of Office 365 (default). To be future-proof, perhaps now is the time to bite the bullet and implement our treeview ?


Comment by: Bill Cawley (10/17/2016 11:40:31 AM)


I have programmed - on and off - for over 30 years, yet I still cannot find how to install a Treeview addon to my Excel, even when following the rules conscientiously. Nor do Microsoft provide any examples that I could emulate.

Your example download works fine. You have saved me a great deal of time.


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