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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 8697 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 2279 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 7871 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 244 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/18/2014 11:41:37 AM)

Hi Siegfried,

You can set a nodes Expanded property to control whether or not it's childnodes are visible, is that what you are after perhaps?

Indeed, it is an awfully nice control isn't it? :-)


Comment by: Siegfried Wieser (8/18/2014 12:04:41 PM)

Hi Jan Karel,

if there is no Expander, the user has no Control to click at for expanding. As i mentioned, the Node_click event does a different job in my treeview. So how can the user expand the node - so that i can make the children?

Thank you very much for your quick Answers!

Siegfried Wieser


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/18/2014 2:21:23 PM)

Hi Siegfried,

Ah, the treeview expects the childnodes to already be there.
The code is currently in a state that that is not easy to change.

This is the routine where the expander is added:

Private Sub BuildTree(.....

It is only called when a node has childnodes.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (8/20/2014 12:14:14 PM)

Hi Siedried,
I don't follow if the objective is to make nodes at design but not expanded, or "to make children"..?

A method to add new nodes during runtime is already built-in to the treeview, see the buttons on the demo form "Add Sibling" and "Add Child".

There are several ways you can provide on the UI for the user to add new nodes, eg a button on the form (as in the demo but with more details), a right click context menu on node, press a shortcut key on the activenode, etc.


Comment by: Frans Truyens (8/20/2014 6:38:09 PM)

Is it possible to use a double-click event in the treeview? I would like the user to be able to double-click on a node, and intercept that event


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/20/2014 7:02:12 PM)

Hi Frans,

There already is a double-click event, but it is currently in use for node editing. You can change that relatively easy though.


Comment by: Miguel Mezquita (8/26/2014 9:05:38 PM)

Hi Jan,
Before anything, let me say thanks for sharing such an amazing piece of work.
I am working in a project where the user needs to compare three similar products and as the products are not identical, I think that I will show three trees at the same time. Also, every node has a picture.
Do you think that your component could implement these requirements?
Thanks again and look forward to hearing from you.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (8/27/2014 10:22:55 AM)

Hi Miguel,

You're welcome! Nice to hear that people enjoy our work.

Yes, you can have as many treeviews side-by-side as you like, as long as you do not exceed whatever it is a userform can handle regarding the total number of controls (which limit I do not really know). Three should not be a problem at all.

To do that, each tree needs its own frame (e.g. frmTree1, frmTree2, frmTree3) and its own module level variable, e.g. mcTree1, mcTree2, mcTree3.

The documentation describes how to handle icons.


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