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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)
Access 2016 (32 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 41.028 times)

Download the treeview sample Word document (build 026, 15 Oct 2015, downloaded 13.019 times)

Download the treeview sample Access database (build 026, 16 Oct 2015, downloaded 33.285 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.


  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 804 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: C.Horn (28-2-2021 19:44:00) deeplink to this comment

I am using the Excel Version and running it from Excel.

Comment by: Peter Thornton (2-3-2021 10:49:00) deeplink to this comment

Hello again C. Horn,

There isn't a 'Read Data' button or similarly named function in the Excel demo so I am not sure what you are trying to do...?

Comment by: Jakob Gram (2-3-2021 14:49:00) deeplink to this comment

Running Access 2003 on Win10. I get this message when opening: Method 'Form' of object '_subForm' failed
I have added FM20.DLL as I didnt use before (64-bit?)
kindly regards

Comment by: Peter Thornton (3-3-2021 13:30:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jakob,

Normally the first time you load the demo form the userform is created automatically in the 'CheckUK' routine. It sounds like it wasn't for you, not sure why not but it wouldn't be related to use of x64.

One possibility is if your VBE is set to 'break on all errors' it would have failed in the error handler that anticipates an error checking if the form exists. But if you have since managed to add it you should be good to go.

Comment by: Jakob Gram (3-3-2021 20:42:00) deeplink to this comment

Thanks for super rapid answer but:
When the database is opened: Automation object does not contain IsTrusted -Macro: Autoexec: Currentproject.Application:Version>=12 Cannot runMacro Argument: Checktrust STOP When database is open I try frmDemo: LayOut unknown Userdefined type not defined and at last when the form is loading Userdefined type... and when resizing: userdefine type....(Sorry but my Access speaks danish :/) Does it give you any clues?

Comment by: Peter Thornton (4-3-2021 10:27:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jacob,

The clue is simply Danish! The problem might be related to Application.Version returning a string with a comma separated decimal which does not coerce to a numeric value in VBA. As you've already added the userform and 'Trusted' the app, you can remove the AutoExec and CheckTrust macros entirely. Or to ensure the demo form loads at startup, in the AutoExec as you are running 2003/v11 remove the first line and in the remaining line under Condition enter simply True.

Also in the frmHelp code, in the Load event to ensure the app version is returned as a numeric value include Val -

Comment by: John (18-3-2021 03:47:00) deeplink to this comment

Is it possible to sort the tree by key and not caption without having to copy things around before and after sorting? Also, do you refresh before or after the sort?

Comment by: Peter Thornton (18-3-2021 11:50:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi John,

In clsNodes / Function Sort / in the For i = loop
sCaptions(i) = ChildNodes.Item(i).Caption > to > .Key

Always call Refresh as the last and final call to physically rebuild the tree after making any changes, such as sorting.

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