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An MSForms (all VBA) treeview

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  1. Features
  2. How To Use
  3. Examples

How to use

This page outlines the minimum steps needed to add this treeview control to your own Excel or Word VBA project. For Access the instructions are different, those can be found in the Access download.

The container control

Open the designer window of your userform and add a frame. This is where the treeview will be built. We recommend these properties (which are of course optional):

 Recommended properties for the container frame
Recommended properties for the container frame

Your userform would look like this:

 The container frame on your userform
The container frame on your userform

If you want images in your treeview, you'll have to add another frame (we called it frmImageBox) and then add Image controls within that frame. Set the Visible property of the frame to false to avoid it showing up on your userform. Like so:

 The images frame on your userform
The images frame on your userform

If you want to add images, make sure you name the new image controls properly, as it is the name of the imagecontrol you need to pass to the cNode class to get that image displayed. An easy way to get the images is to copy the entire frame with images from our userform to yours.

Class modules

Copy the class modules clsNode and clsTreeView to your project (you can simply drag them to your project). Your project (if you started with an empty workbook) would look like this:

 Project with class modules in place

The project with class modules in place

So far, things have been simple. The next parts are a bit more compex, but nothing too hard!

Code behind your userform

For the treeview to work, your userform needs some code, in particular these elements are necessary:

That's it!

Variable declaration

Add this code to the declaration section of your userform:

'Add this to your form's declaration section
Private WithEvents mcTree As clsTreeView

That's it! No more variables needed!

Of course the name of the variable mcTree is totally up to you.

If you need another (independent) treeview on your form, simply add another frame to hold it and an additional variable in the forms declaration section (of course you name it differently than the other one) like the one shown here.


In the intialisation routine of your form, you need code that adds nodes to the tree and when you're done adding nodes, you need to set some properties of the treeview. Then you'll want the treeview to be displayed.

Adding an instance of the treeview to your form

Adding the instance is easy:

    'Instantiate a new instance of the treeview class and set a module level variable to hold it:
    Set mcTree = New clsTreeView

Now tell the tree class instance which frame is its container:

    With mcTree
        'The VBA treeview needs a container Frame control on the userform.
        'Just draw a frame on your form where the treeview should appear
        'Make sure the frame has no border and no caption
        'Set it to show both scroll bars. (Keepscrollbarsvisible to both)
        'Set it to the special effect "Sunken"
        'Note that node label formats such as back/fore colors and font adopt
        'the frame container's properties, so change if/as required.
        '(you can copy the frame named frmDemo from this userform )
        'Then pass this frame to the TreeControl of the treeview class

        Set .TreeControl = Me.frmDemo
        'Title for message boxes:
        .AppName = Me.AppName

Note that most of the code listed below is within the With mcTree ... End With structure.

Setting initial look

You'll want control over the look and feel of your treeview, here is some example code (this code comes immediately below the code sample show above):

        'Set some properties
        .CheckBoxes = True
        .RootButton = True
        .LabelEdit = 0 'default is 0 can be edited (like LabelEditConstants tvwAutomatic/tvwManual)
        .Indentation = 20 * 0.75 'defaults to 11.25
        .NodeHeight = 16 * 0.75 'defaults to 12
        .ShowLines = True
        'If your form has icons in an iconframe (called frmImageBox),
        'you could use icons for the expand and collapse buttons:

        Call .ExpanderImage(Me.frmImageBox.Controls("Win7Minus").Picture, Me.frmImageBox.Controls("Win7Plus1").Picture)

If your treeview needs to show images, add a frame control with Image controls inside. Lets call it frmImageBox. This is how you tell the class where the images are:

        Set .Images = Me.frmImageBox

That is just about all the plumbing you need to get started.

Adding nodes

First of all, a couple of variables are needed to add nodes:

'The root of the tree
Dim cRoot As clsNode
'A node
Dim cNode As clsNode
'An extra variable should you need to remember a certain node
Dim cExtraNode As clsNode

Next we'll start by building the rootnode:

        ' add a Root node with main and expanded icons and make it bold
        Set cRoot = .AddRoot("Root", "Root Node", "FolderClosed", "FolderOpen")
        cRoot.Bold = True

Note that the tree can have more than one rootnode, there is a special RootNodes collection to which you automatically add new roots by calling the AddRoot method.

As you can see, we assume there are two icons in the image frame called FolderClosed and FolderOpen respectively.

Now we want to add children to the root. This is the code from our demo form:

        'Add branches with child nodes to the root:
        'Keys are optional but if using them they must be unique,
        'attempting to add a node with a duplicate key will cause a runtime error.
        '(below we will include unique keys with all the nodes)
        Set cNode = cRoot.AddChild("1", "1 A", "FLGNETH")
        cNode.Bold = True
        'Add a 2nd branch to the root:
        Set cNode = cRoot.AddChild("2", "2 B", "FLGSWED")
        cNode.Bold = True
        'If you want to add more child branches to a branch later on, use a variable to store the branch.
        Set cExtraNode = cNode.AddChild("2.1", "2.1  level 2", "NOTE03", "NOTE04")  ' include an expanded icon
        cExtraNode.Expanded = False   ' this node will initially be collapsed,
                                      ' its child node controls will be created when expanded

        'To add a branches to a branch, make sure you set a variable to its 'main' or parent branch when created
        'Then use the Branch's AddChild method, here to create multiple levels

        Set cNode = cNode.AddChild("2.2", "2.2  level 2", "NOTE03", "NOTE04")    ' include an expanded icon
        Set cNode = cNode.AddChild("2.2.1", "2.2.1  level 3", "OpenBook")
        Set cNode = cNode.AddChild("", "  level 4", "Scroll")
        Set cNode = cNode.AddChild(" ", "   level 5", "GreenTick")

        'Now add another branch to the branch we stored earlier
        cExtraNode.AddChild "2.1.1", "2.1.1  level 3", "OpenBook"

        'Add a 3rd branch to the root, with a child node
        Set cNode = cRoot.AddChild("3", "3 C", "FLGUK")
        cNode.Bold = True
        cNode.AddChild "3.1", "3.1  level 2", "Scroll"

        ' and add a 4th branch to the root
        Set cNode = cRoot.AddChild("4", "4 D", "FLGUSA02")
        cNode.Bold = True
        cNode.Caption = "4 D  +" & mlCntChildren

        ' add a bunch of child nodes to the 4th branch
        For i = 1 To mlCntChildren  ' 15
            Set cExtraNode = cNode.AddChild("4." & i, "  4.1 " & Right$("000" & i, 4), "Scroll")
            '  add some alternate row colour formats
            If i Mod 2 Then
                cExtraNode.BackColor = RGB(255, 255, 220) ' pale yellow
                cExtraNode.ForeColor = RGB(180, 0, 0)     ' dark red font
            End If

Display the tree

Displaying the tree is as simple as calling one method:

    'Fill the tree


When the form goes out of scope (i.e. out of memory) you need to remove the treeview from memory:

Private Sub UserForm_QueryClose(Cancel As Integer, CloseMode As Integer)
'Make sure all objects are destroyed
    If Not mcTree Is Nothing Then
    End If
End Sub


We've worked hard to create a reliable and performant treeview. If you encounter bugs, please let us know so we can work on them. Better yet: if you have fixed a bug you found, send us your updated code so we can add the fixes you made.

In any case, comments (and compliments) are welcome!




Showing last 8 comments of 282 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Gabriel (21-3-2022 02:15:00) deeplink to this comment

I can generate the treeview OK!!
But after create the root nodes and the childs nodes, (whit 4 levels) I need activate and show an specific node (the last selected and clicked in previus session).
The idea is that the tree open with the last node used preselected. In the previos session, I save the key of node.
I assign object cNode to variable lastNode of the saved node during the new generation of tree, and try to activate that node with the property mcTree.ActiveNode, but that generate ERROR.

Set mcTree.ActiveNode = lastNode

generate error 91, "Object variable or With block variable not set"

The error is apparently generated in the class clsTreeView Subs:
ResetActiveNodeColor and SetActiveNodeColor

I appreciate help to correct it

Comment by: Peter Thornton (21-3-2022 11:57:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Gabriel,

Store some way of referring to the last activenode before destroying the treeview. Simplest is if you use keys, for example -

' in previous session
sLastKey = mcTree.ActiveNode.Key

' in new session
With mcTree
    ' create the treeview
    Set .ActiveNode = .Nodes(sLastKey)
    .ScrollToView ' ensure the new activenode is expanded and in view
End With

Comment by: Gabriel (21-3-2022 15:41:00) deeplink to this comment

Thank you!!! Now works as expected..
Initialize tree
add roots...
add nodes...
Set .ActiveNode = .Nodes(sLastKey) --> error!

Initialize tree
add roots...
add nodes...
Set .ActiveNode = .Nodes(sLastKey) --> AFTER refresh is the correct way

Comment by: Gabriel (21-3-2022 16:16:00) deeplink to this comment

Hello again
In the previous question you solved the error about activating a node, thanks for the help!
Now, the node is selected but does NOT fire its click event.
How can I trigger the click on that node by code?

Something like ".ActiveNode.click" ....

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (21-3-2022 17:04:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Gabriel,

The treeview does not trigger a click event when you use code to set the active node.

You could add that yourself, by adding this line to the end of the "Public Property Set ActiveNode" routine in the treeview class:

RaiseEvent Click(oActiveNode)

Comment by: Gabriel (21-3-2022 17:36:00) deeplink to this comment

thank you very very much!!!

Comment by: Essoo (27-4-2022 05:15:00) deeplink to this comment

Thanks for the treeview controll works perfectly as explained

I want to know if this treeview has RightToLeft property and if not how to align it ftom right to left

Thanks in advance

Comment by: Peter Thornton (28-4-2022 09:22:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Essoo,

This Treeview does not have a RightToLeft property and I can't suggest an easy way to adapt it as RTL. It would require significant changes!

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