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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 (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, 13 March 2015, downloaded 12895 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 13 March 2015, downloaded 3310 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 10948 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 348 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (5/7/2015 5:47:21 PM)

Hi Juan,

Something like:

Dim cNode as clsNode
For Each cNode in mcTree.Nodes
    var = cNode.Caption


Comment by: jerz (5/8/2015 12:51:38 AM)

Hi Peter,
1) I was wrong. Move method works fine with root nodes (however, looses highlight with shortcuts or command button and activenode is almost invisible). Anyway, I have added DropHighlight sub to my auxiliary standard module .
2) I am unable to make NodeAdd work with root nodes. First:
Call mcTree.NodeAdd(mcTree.ActiveNode, tvprevious, skey, skey)

gives child node instead of sibling (works ok for non-root nodes)
Call mcTree.NodeAdd(, tvprevious, skey, skey)

(omitting vRelative – rather tricky anyway – not a word in doc) works but adds node as a last nodes’ collection item.
I use workaround (addroot aggregated with move).

Copy and Move work fine with root nodes, so (including workaround) I have all basic functions working correctly.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (5/9/2015 12:20:50 PM)

Hi Jerzy,
I don't follow all of what you're doing there but it sounds like you've got it all working.

Indeed the activenode's highlight formats change as the treecontrol gains or looses focus if you included the frame's enter & exit events in the main form (see the demo) to make it consistent with Window's behaviour, it's a feature! However you can easily adapt or override the these highlight changes.


Comment by: Jerzy Orysiak (5/12/2015 1:47:02 PM)

Hi Peter,
below is the part of cmdAddSibling_Click() of your demo:

If cNode.ParentNode.Caption = "RootHolder" Then
        'We have a root node, add another root node
        Set cSibling = mctree.NodeAdd(, , _
                                    "MyUniqueSiblingKey" & lNewItem, _
                                    "New Sibling of " & cNode.Caption & " #" & lNewItem, _
                                    vIcon1, vIcon2)

Any value of the second parameter - "Relation" (also tvchild) gives the same result: adds csibling as last.

Attempt to set the first parameter cnode.parentnode gives run-time error.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (5/13/2015 1:06:47 PM)

Hi Jerzy,
If I follow you want to add a new root node and at the same time position it before or after some other root node. To use the NodeAdd method for this the clsTreeView code will need changing: In Function NodeAdd comment and add these lines respectively

    'If vRelationship = tvChild Or cRelative Is cRelative.Root
    If vRelationship = tvChild Then

then call it like this

Set cSibling = mcTree.NodeAdd(cSomeRootNode, tvNext, etc
     ' or tvPrevious

Could you confirm if this works for your needs, and/or if the change causes a different problem. We will probably change this for the next version though probably not soon.

Alternatively you could use .AddRoot() as normal then use the Move method to place in the order required.

The possibility to add multiple Root nodes was added during development, prior to which we needed to prevent accidental adding of sibling roots. Your particular scenario got overlooked!


Comment by: Jerzy Orysiak (5/14/2015 1:15:55 AM)

Hi Peter,
I have changed mentioned line, however the first line after declaration in NodeAdd should be changed as well (at least I think so). It is not neccesary but if a tree is empty (ActiveNode is Nothing) it prevents from error and/or additional condition checking.
If IsMissing(vRelative) Then

Should be:
If IsMissing(vRelative) Or mcolNodes Is Nothing Then

Now it works (tested).

Anyway, it was not a problem before (I found workaround) and if I wrote about it, that was becouse I think that kind of remarks might have some value for you. I work intensively with treeview and I keep collecting remarks (mainly regarding documentation). When I finish, if you wish, I will send them to you.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (5/14/2015 8:54:01 PM)

Hi Jerzy,
I don't think we ever considered .NodeAdd for adding root nodes. Although it works with the change I mentioned for subsequent root nodes, I think at least for the first node it can be added with .AddRoot, and then never necessary to check if mcolNodes Is Nothing with all other nodes, but no problem to do that.

It looks like you are giving the treeview a very thorough work out! Indeed please send your remarks when done.


Comment by: Chris (5/15/2015 1:39:13 PM)

I'm wondering if you have a vba listview alternative that work both on 32 bit and 64 bit office?


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