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Home > English site > Articles > Treeview control

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 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)
Excel 2016 (32 and 64 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 35.204 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 11.094 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 026, 16 Oct 2015, downloaded 28.628 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. Timing experiments have proven 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.



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 712 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Carlos (30-7-2019 17:07:00)

what do we need to add to this code to turn it into a Virtual treeview? I have hundreds of Nodes and it can be really slow to upload.
Many thanks


Comment by: Peter Thornton (30-7-2019 20:06:00)

Hi Carlos,

Not calling .Refresh would give you a sort of virtual treeview, but without knowing your overall objective hard to suggest more than simply that.

If you're dealing with larger treeviews you might consider the pro Treeview, it can easily handle tens of thousands of node. It also supports virtual treeviews, mainly to facilitate a multi-level undo for treeviews. If interested see the enquiry link above.


Comment by: Mads Berge-Lind (13-8-2019 08:36:00)

I am super happy with the 'pro' Treeview and its developers!

The control is very quick, and it has all the functionality I need. I am running up to 24 simultaneous trees with thousands of nodes each, and drag and drop between them.

The support is just fantastic. Peter has modified the control over a weekend to add functionality. Having this kind of support is great.

Thank you!


Comment by: Peter Thornton (13-8-2019 13:15:00)

Hi Mads,

Thank you for this nice feedback:)


Comment by: Jamie (4-9-2019 21:49:00)

In Access, I have the Treeview subform as per the example and the "Public WithEvents mcTree As clsTreeView" in the Parent form. I do everything I wanted to do perfectly, from the parent form. However, I have another subform on the same parent (call it a sibling form to the Treview subform??) and I want to adjust the TreeView nodes from this subform. How do I reference the existing Treeview from the sibling subform.


Comment by: Peter Thornton (5-9-2019 12:17:00)

Hi Jamie

With the mcTree reference in the main form declared as Public, in the subForm refer to it simply as 'Me.Parent.mcTree', for example -

Dim cNode as clsNode
Set cNode = Me.Parent.mcTree.ActiveNode
cNode.Caption = "new caption"


Comment by: Filipe Caetano (6-9-2019 11:10:00)

I need to create a child node inside another node. My code is:

CurrentDb().Execute "INSERT INTO TBL_Categories (Parent, Designation) VALUES (" & cNode.Key & ",'New Category');", dbFailOnError

Set cChild = cNode.AddChild(sKey:=DLookup("ID", "TBL_Categories", "Parent=" & cNode.Key & "             " AND Designation='New Category'"), vCaption:="New Category")

Then I let the user enter edit mode to change the node caption from "New Category" to something else

With mcTree
.EditMode(mcTree.ActiveNode) = True
.ActiveNode.EditBox True
End With

I have a function that will create the path to that child node:

Private Function BuildCategoryDescription() As String
Dim i As Integer
Set cNode = mcTree.ActiveNode
Do While Not cNode.ParentNode Is Nothing
i = i + 1
If i = 1 Then
     BuildCategoryDescription = "[" & cNode.Caption & "]" & BuildCategoryDescription
     BuildCategoryDescription = "[" & cNode.Caption & "]" & " > " & BuildCategoryDescription
End If
Set cNode = cNode.ParentNode

End Function

But it keeps adding the "New Category" string instead of the one user edited.

How can code continue only after user edit child node caption?



Comment by: Peter Thornton (6-9-2019 11:44:00)

Hi Filipe

I don't quite follow all of what you are doing but to add a childnode to the activenode and put it in editmode ready for editing adapt the following

Set cChild = mcTree.ActiveNode.AddChild(, "New Category")
Set mcTree.ActiveNode = cChild
'' set keyboard focus to the treeview if necessary
' Me.subTreeView.SetFocus ' < Excel
' Me.frTreeControl.SetFocus ' < Access
cChild.EditBox True


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