An MSForms (all VBA) treeview for Access, Excel And Word



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 to develop a custom-made Treeview "control", that only uses the native Office forms controls. A couple of weeks after I started building this 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 works in all versions of Excel, Access and Word; from Office 2007 to 2019 and 365, for Windows and Mac, 32bit and 64bit. It also works in some earlier versions though you would need to adapt the demos made for 2007 and later.

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 (former) Excel 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!

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 request that you:

  • Keep our comments in place.
  • Do not remove our names, url's or email addresses from the code.
  • Send us your praise and your comments.
  • Send us any functional additions you do the the treeview.

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:

Paypal donate button


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 026.4, 28 May 2021, downloaded 45.481 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026.4, 31 May 2021, downloaded 14.767 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 026.4, 28 May 2021, downloaded 37.018 times)

‘Pro’ Treeview and ListGrid VBA controls

If your project needs more features and/or better performance than our free treeview, or if you need a listgrid control you've come to the right place as well.

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. Timing experiments have shown that the pro version of our treeview outperforms the common controls treeview.

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 in a trial license 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 (The download files above contain a Word document which also gives more details about the pro controls).


  1. Features
  2. How To Use
  3. Examples


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 855 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Trevor (30-3-2022 10:21:00) deeplink to this comment

Sorry I wasn't very clear - You have to manually set a reference to the Ms Forms Object Library in the VBA IDE.

If you open a database on another machine that doesn't have this reference set it obviously doesn't work. Not all end users would be comfortable setting this reference, or if distributing an accde would be able to if they only had a runtime environment?

Comment by: Peter Thornton (30-3-2022 11:55:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Trevor,

The MSForms reference must be set at design, it wouldn’t work with late binding for various reasons.

Normally there should be no problem to distribute with the reference, including in an ACCDE. Your Access users should have the runtime which is included with Office.

Slightly related, although the demo illustrates adding a userfom with startup code on first use, in practice it should be fine to distribute with the userform already added.

Comment by: Steve Cook (10-5-2022 03:27:00) deeplink to this comment

Great product! But I was wondering if there was a way to get the MouseDown event from the tree to allow adding a popup menu on a right mouse button click on a node?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (10-5-2022 09:54:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Steve,

There are some examples in these comments on how to add your own events to the control. Here is one:
to find more, search that page for raisevent.

Comment by: David Bell (1-8-2022 23:12:00) deeplink to this comment

Current versions of Excel on the Mac (and possibly other Office products) do not seen to be refreshing the display properly on update and leave partial lines and icons hanging around Scrolling causes a refresh but is of course a bit painful for the user.
Repainting the form after update fixes the issue.

I added the following at the end of BuildRoot - just after the 'done:' label.
It is not optimal as it determines the parent on each update, where most probably it will be fixed.

It works for me, though I am aware that this might not be the only place it is required.
YMMV :-)


        Dim myParent As Object
        Set myParent = TreeControl

        Do Until TypeOf myParent Is MSForms.UserForm And Not LCase(TypeName(myParent)) = "frame"
         'reset to previous parent in the tree
            Set myParent = myParent.Parent

Comment by: Peter Thornton (2-8-2022 09:47:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Dave,

I don't recall reports of issues with the Excel version not fully redrawing, though indeed the Access version sometimes requires a nudge when scrolling or expanding.

However the free version gets exponentially slower with larger treeviews, if that's the issue you might consider the 'pro' version if you have a budget.

If you really do need to refresh it should only TreeControl frame that requires the .Repaint, rather than the entire form as your example.

Small point, the Typename of an MSForms frame control is always "Frame", so no need for cater for unknown case.

If you think I've missed something and want to send an example you can contact me off-line.

Comment by: Hervé (6-10-2022 11:17:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Peter,
I have a little problem on Surface laptop with 200% zoom: if a text was very long, the end of text is truncated (one or several characters).
I can provide you screen shot if you want.

And I also have to add the code ".PictureSizeMode = fmPictureSizeModeZoom" in BuildNodeControls in order to have visible icons:
    If mbFullWidth And mbGotIcons Then
        If cNode.hasIcon(vKey) Then
            sngIconPad = mcIconPad
            If cNode.Icon Is Nothing Then
                Set cNode.Icon = TreeControl.Controls.add("Forms.Image.1", "Icon" & sName, False)
                With cNode.Icon
                    .BorderStyle = fmBorderStyleNone
                    .Left = mcTLpad + msngRootLine + msngIndent * lLevel + msngChkBoxPad
                    .Top = mlVisCount * NodeHeight + msngTopIcon
                    .Width = mcIconSize
                    .Height = mcIconSize
                    .BackStyle = fmBackStyleTransparent
                    .Picture = mcolIcons(vKey)
                    .BackStyle = fmBackStyleTransparent
                    .PictureSizeMode = fmPictureSizeModeZoom
                    .Visible = True
                End With

Thanks in advanced for your help

Comment by: Peter Thornton (6-10-2022 13:48:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Hervé

If using FullWidth, in the declarations try increasing the mcFullWidth value, for example

Private Const mcFullWidth As Long = 1000

If not using FullWidth I don't think the truncated issue would occur, but let me know if that's not the case.

Yes, with variable sized or 'too large' images use of fmPictureSizeModeZoom is a good solution.

You might want to change mcIconSize As Long = 12 (12 is good for 16x16 pixels in a 100% display)

FWIW the Pro Treeview handles different screen display % sizes much better, and doesn't use a fixed width with mcFullWidth which can extend labels unnecessarily to the right of the treeview (albeit not visibly). Optionally the pro automatically resizes images for larger display settings.

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