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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 30,140 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 9,348 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 24,431 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 598 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Sasha (7/9/2018 7:37:05 AM)

I use MS Access 2007, on 32-bit Windows 7 machine.
When trying to use access version of Your treeview, I'm getting a error message :

'Run-time error : 2926
Because of your security settings and current security policy, this control is disabled. To modify your policy and enable the database, use the Message Bar.'

What to do to make it work ?
Thanks in advance.


Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (7/9/2018 9:55:29 AM)

Hi Sasha,

WHen you open a database, often you get a yellow bar beneath the ribbon which contains a button to enable content. Click that button.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (7/9/2018 10:19:07 AM)

Hi Sasha,
Just to add, the demo form includes an MSForms.Frame control with a number of image controls as one way to store image objects for icons in the treeview. The demo also includes three MSForms spin controls, these are only to change node height, node width and font size and only to illustrate the treeview.

If your security settings disable controls without notification, in the demo form comment all lines that refer to mfrImages (the frame control) and axSpinButton,1,2&3 (the spinners). You will not be able to run demo2 with icons demo, but there are other ways to store and retrieve icon images. The treeview is not a control and it doesn't need these controls to work.

These MSForms controls are considered as "built-in" in other Office applications such as Excel and Word. Simplest way to enable them in Access is to change your security settings to show a warning prompt with controls.


Comment by: Sasha (7/9/2018 10:42:36 AM)

Thanks for quick response.
All MS ACCESS 2007 settings in Trust Center are adjusted to accommodate
work with macro's and vba code without restrictions.

Code crashes with error 2926 in Form_Load procedure of the frmDemo form:

    ' if the subForm contains a frame of images
    Set mfrImages = Me.subTreeView.Form.Controls("frImages").Object

Any ideas on why this happend?


Comment by: Sasha (7/9/2018 1:28:12 PM)

Hi Peter,
I followed your instructions and commented out all references of the mfrImages instances, and managed to create new form with subTreeView as subform.
I then copied all the code from frmDemo to new form, and did some deleting mainly because I defined TreeView properties directly in the code and not by having the check boxes and combo boxes on the form to select values for the properties from.
Everything is looking good, beside fact that loading of subTreeView subform causes message from Acess stating that my security settings disabled control on this form.
That is if I open my form with subTreeView as subform directly.
If I do it by calling the code from modStartup where I did change form name to my form name, then I do not get the security warrning message.
Maybe I'm still missing something?


Comment by: Peter Thornton (7/11/2018 4:06:52 PM)

Hi Sasha,
If your security settings block all controls I don't think you needed to create an entirely new form, just remove all code references to the MSForms controls (the Frame of image controls on the subForm and spin-buttons on the main form), and delete the controls.

Indeed you'd have got warning trying to open the subForm if you hadn't deleted the Frame, but interesting you could open it with code.

Just to clarify, it's not security's Macro settings but ActiveX settings which if disabled blocks these controls.

In passing, get the Excel download with v026, copy code in the class modules, and debug/compile.


Comment by: Stefano (7/16/2018 9:24:14 AM)

Hi Peter,
thankyou for sharing this great alternative.
I'm trying to convert my ActiveX TreeView into this project, but I'm stuck with the references of my accdb.
All the events of the form "subTreeView" give this error:
"The Expression On Load you entered as the event property setting produced the following error: User-defined type not defined".

I am missing something?
I am on Win7 x64 and running Ms Office 2013 32bit.

This is the list of references of my accdb:
MSComctlLib | C:\windows\SysWOW64\MSCOMCTL.OCX
Office | C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE15\MSO.DLL
DAO | C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OFFICE15\ACEDAO.DLL
Scripting | C:\Windows\SysWOW64\scrrun.dll
MSForms | C:\windows\SysWOW64\FM20.DLL
SHDocVw | C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ieframe.dll
stdole | C:\Windows\SysWOW64\stdole2.tlb
Access | C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\Root\Office15\MSACC.OLB
VBA | C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VBA\VBA7.1\VBE7.DLL



Comment by: Peter Thornton (7/16/2018 3:35:12 PM)

Hi Stefano,

The only additional reference our Treeview requires is to MSForms, and it looks like you've got that.

Have you tried Debug / Compile? Often that will highlight compile errors which would trigger that message, but there might be other things.

If/when you've successfully adapted best to remove the ActiveX control from your form and the MSCOMCTL reference. I suspect the SHDocVw would fail fail in Access 64, not sure if there's an alternative but that's a different matter.


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