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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' SysWOW64 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 31,339 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 9,730 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 25,413 times)

‘Pro’ Treeview and ListGrid VBA controls

The professional version of the treeview control has exceptional performance. Even with tens of thousands of nodes it will load quickly and remain highly responsive. It also has several new features including drag and drop.

Our new ListGrid combines most of the functionality of the ActiveX Listview and Flexgrid controls with many extra useful features. It is the result of extensive beta testing by some of our treeview users, thanks guys!

The screenshot of the demo below gives an idea of just some of its capability.

Professional ListGrid control

The Pro Treeview and ListGrid are available for 32/64 bit Excel and Access. The Excel version will also work in Mac, one or two features are disabled for Mac but we’re working on it. Unlike our free treeview they are self contained in their own files and designed to work more like real controls.

For more details and if interested to try either of these ‘controls’ please contact us:

Pro Treeview enquiry

Pro Listgrid enquiry

Please note that the pro versions are paid versions. Pricing available upon request by using the links above.



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 628 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Filipe Jose Roque Caetano (10/12/2018 11:47:30 AM)

Hello from Portugal.
Thank you for this fantastic treeview control.

I've been able to change the way that you populate the treeview from a table i MS Access, although I can only go up to level 6 (after that level of disaggregation the treeview don't display that nodes anymore)

Here it is for anyone that find it useful.

'Populate the treeview with data from a table
Private Function GetDataFromTable()

On Error GoTo Error_Trap

    Dim rst As DAO.Recordset

    Set rst = CurrentDb.OpenRecordset("qryMenu")

    Set mcTree = Me.subTreeView.Form.pTreeview
    With mcTree
        'Add Root nodes
        If rst.RecordCount > 0 Then
            While Not rst.EOF
                If rst.Fields("Parent") = 0 Then
                    Set cNode = .AddRoot(rst.Fields("ID"), rst.Fields("Designation"))
                    cNode.Bold = True
                End If
            'Add Child nodes
            For Each cNode In .Nodes
                While Not rst.EOF
                    If rst.Fields("Parent") > 0 Then
                        If cNode.Key = rst.Fields("Parent") Then
                            cNode.AddChild rst.Fields("ID"), rst.Fields("Designation")
                        End If
                    End If
            Next cNode
        End If
        'Display the tree
    End With
    Set rst = Nothing

Exit Function

MsgBox ("Error Code:" & Err.Number & " Description do Erro:" & Err.Description)
Resume Error_Exit

End Function


Comment by: Filipe Jose Roque Caetano (10/12/2018 11:48:04 AM)

--Continued from previuos comment--
The structure of the table is something like this:

ID | Parent | Designation
1 | 0     | Root1
2 | 0     | Root2
3 | 0     | Root3
4 | 1     | Root1_Child1
5 | 2     | Root2_Child1
6 | 2     | Root2_Child2
7 | 2     | Root2_Child3
8 | 6     | Root2_Child2_Child1
9 | 8     | Root2_Child2_Child1_Child1
10 | 3     | Root3_Child1


Comment by: FILIPE JOSE ROQUE CAETANO (10/12/2018 12:02:46 PM)

Hello again.

I forgot to mention that the recordset is based on a query "qryMenu" that, in turn, is just a way to sort the table that is showed on the last post.



Comment by: Peter Thornton (10/12/2018 5:37:23 PM)

Hi Filipe,

There's no defined limit to the number of levels, I can't see from your code why you can't create more than 6 levels, something in the data perhaps(?).

If your nodes will always be added in sequential order, or at least such that any parent is created before any of its child nodes, you might find it easier to use the treeview.NodeAdd rather than node.AddChild.

Add root nodes in the normal way with AddRoot. Be sure to give each a unique key, its ID perhaps (if necessary converted to a string if the ID field is numeric). Then for all other nodes

Set cNode = mcTree.NodeAdd(vRelative:=rst.Fields("Parent"), _
                    vRelationship:=tvChild, _
                    sKey:=rst.Fields("ID"), _


Comment by: Filipe Caetano (10/15/2018 9:47:52 AM)

Thank you so much Peter for looking at my code.
I'll try to implement your suggestion.
As for passing level 6, I think it should in fact be a problem with my data / table, but I can not figure out how to overcome this problem.
As I enter more levels in the treeview, it will display them, but I can not register those levels in the table. It's a strange thing, considering that up to level 6 I have no problems.
The table and the data are a simple structure, like the one presented in one of my previous posts.



Comment by: Peter Thornton (10/16/2018 12:06:09 PM)

Hi Filipe,

It's probably something obvious in your data/table, but sometimes they can be the hardest things to find!

Try debugging your code, eg
Set cChild = cNode.AddChild( arg's)
With cChild
    Debug.? .ParentNode.Key, .Level; .Caption
End With


Comment by: CARLOS ANTONIO (10/16/2018 8:22:27 PM)

Really this is a job "SPECTACULAr", my congratulations!
It is impressive the level of knowledge of those involved through the codes developed and the final result of the solution presented.

After that I learned that I have not learned anything yet from VBA ...

In my limitations of the tool and my knowledge, it would be possible for those involved to provide a small code of what a tree of three nodes would look like in TreeView. Taking as an example a simple spreadsheet with 3 columns. Where column 1 being the YEAR, column 2 being the MONTH, and column 3 being the VALUE OF SALE. In this case you would create a parent node being a year, then a child node for the month, and then add the value for each month related to the YEAR of the parent node.

I do not know if I was clear in my comment, and if they can make the code available here to clarify the doubts of the other colleagues, or if they can send me in my e-mail.

Right now, thank you very much for the material provided and applied knowledge.
It will be very useful for my applications


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10/18/2018 5:00:05 PM)

Hi Carlos,

Perhaps this comment helps:


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