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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 29,766 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 9,209 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 025, 16 Oct 2013, downloaded 24,147 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 590 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Simon (5/26/2018 12:30:30 PM)


Been using your treeview for a while now in some PPT projects. Have to say is brilliant and I have even managed to customise it a bit, added drag drop and a small/large option for the icons/text.

I have a new weird issue I can't pin down.

With the macro running if any of the methods that alter the frame's controls collection (add or remove) are triggered then the VBA Toolbox appears on the screen

I found a mention of this relating to something else and their solution was to make sure the VBA Toolbox was on the same screen as the VBA Editor and close it before saving. Tried that and it works sometimes but not others.

The VBA Toolbox doesn't always come back on the same monitor either (I have 3 monitors).

If I then test the created Add-In on a single screen the Toolbox appears on the screen.

Tried using a FindWindow sub to pick up the Toolbox so I could force it closed but not able to find it.

Has anyone had this issue?

It may be something to do with my machine but fresh install of Office (2013) hasn't cleared it.

Any help or clues appreciated!




Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (5/27/2018 11:31:30 AM)

Hi Simon,

I would try removing the VBE entry in the registry (export its key first!!). It would be something like:


AFAIK the VBA editor will add it back with its default settings.

The 7.1 might be different for 2013.


Comment by: Simon (5/29/2018 11:14:08 AM)

Hi Jan Karel

Thanks for your quick response and suggestion. Tried that. 7.1 was the highest key avail so I backed it up and deleted it. 2013's VBA reset to defaults and new key was created. So all good there.

Unfortunately it hasn't shaken the problem.

I decided to start from scratch and tried a test VBA add-in with a form with buttons that altered the form's controls collection and added a simple treeview (usaing same version of classes as main project). Still no toolbox.

Going back to my project, I realised I also have a treeview as part of the "open" code as an option - the user sees the source templates "folder structure" as a treeview. That code used AddChild etc., same treeview classes but no toolbox there.

So, the issue is something to do with the main form where users click to add nodes to their "chosen slides" list (treeview) selecting from the "available slides" (treeview).

Still can't imagine quite what is going on to make a toolbox appear though! I appear to have created a problem in VBA.

I will continue to investigate!




Comment by: Simon (5/29/2018 11:44:29 AM)

Hi again

OK, pinned down the issue I think.

Stepping the code I found it wasn't adding the node that causes it but part of the refresh "wrapper" I put around a user choosing a slide. Specifically setting focus onto the Chosen node (frame "fraChosen.SetFocus")

I destroyed the frame and added a new one and the problem seems to have gone away.

I swear last week when I stepped it, the toolbox appeared right on the Controls.Add line so maybe the registry edit has made a difference too.

VBA not doing what it should do regardless!

Thanks for your help



Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (5/29/2018 12:53:52 PM)

Hi Simon,

I guess this is just "one of those things" we have regularly when developing in Excel VBA :-)


Comment by: Peter Thornton (5/31/2018 8:49:26 AM)

Hi Simon,

Try deleting (or rename) your toolbox file, for your Powerpoint look for It should rebuild itself but you'll need to re-add any 'additional controls'.


Comment by: Arlyn (6/10/2018 2:21:15 PM)

In playing around with the control for an Access database I noticed that the scrolling feature does not work. Is that something that just needs to be turned on, or does that control simply not work for this?


Comment by: Peter Thornton (6/11/2018 9:27:12 AM)

Hi Arlyn,

Wheel scroll is not implemented in the free version, it's not included in the original MSComctl.ocx version either. If it's important for you might be interested to look at our 'pro' treeview, more details at the top of this page.


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