My Treeview Project | Episode Three: Changing How the Treeview Looks

This is a full page view of an article from My MS Access Blog.

Here's what we'll end up with
after this episode.

In Episode 1: The Hello World! Treeview we built the simplest of treeviews, just to introduce some of the concepts. In Episode 2: Northwind Categories and Products we created a treeview that displayed products in categories based on data from the Northwind sample database.

In this episode we'll take the treeview from epsiode 2 and add some tweaks that affect how it looks. This will let us look at a number of useful techniques and concepts. If you haven't done episode 2 you should go back to it now and build the database because you'll be working from there in this episode.

Starting with the code from episode 2, the first tweak is to the code for the Form Open Event. Here's the new version:

Private Sub Form_Open(Cancel As Integer)
End Sub

The line SetUpTreeviw is new. It calls a new subroutine to set up a bunch of attributes that control how the treeview looks. Here's the code for that subroutine, which you have to add to your form's code module:

Private Sub SetupTreeview()
  With Me.xProductTreeview
    .Style = tvwTreelinesPlusMinusText
    .LineStyle = tvwRootLines
    .Indentation = 240
    .Appearance = ccFlat
    .HideSelection = False
    .BorderStyle = ccFixedSingle
    .HotTracking = True
    .FullRowSelect = True
    .Checkboxes = False
    .SingleSel = False
    .Sorted = False
    .Scroll = True
    .LabelEdit = tvwManual
    .Font.Name = "Verdana"
    .Font.Size = 9
  End With
End Sub

This routine sets the display properties for the treeview. These can also be set interactively by right-clicking on the treeview in design view and selecting TreeCtlObject->Properties. I prefer to do this in code. First because I can maintain consistency from treeview to treeview. And second so that if I ever need to delete the control from the form and recreate it the code will take care of setting the new control up the way I had the old one. I've linked the reference pages for each of the attributes so you can see what they do. If you prefer to have your treeview look different you can adjust these options.

When we first created the products and categories treeview all we saw was the list of categories. We had to expand the categories to see any products. Sometimes that's not what we want. Sometimes we want some of the nodes to start out expanded. Here's our new category node code that takes care of that.

Private Sub CreateCategoryNodes()
  Dim rst As DAO.Recordset ' recordset for category data

  ' open the recordset for categories
  Set rst = CurrentDb.TableDefs!Categories.OpenRecordset

  ' loop through the rows in the recordset
  Do Until rst.EOF
    With Me.xProductTreeview.Nodes.Add(Text:=rst!CategoryName, _
        Key:="Cat=" & CStr(rst!CategoryID))
      .Expanded = True
    End With

End Sub

Look at the lines in bold.

We've enclosed the arguments to the Add method in parentheses. Add is really a function that returns the node that was added. In previous episodes we didn't use the return value- by leaving off the parentheses we used it like a subroutine instead of a function and ignored any result. This time, by using the parentheses and putting With in front of it we create a block of code where anything starting with a . will refer back to the new node we just created.

Withing that With block we've added code that sets the new node's Expanded property to True. That's all it takes to expand the node. When the tree is finished any nodes under that category node will be visible. The user can still collapse it if the like, but it starts out expanded.

The next changes are to the subroutine that adds products to the category nodes. Here's the new version:

Private Sub CreateProductNodes()
  Dim rst As DAO.Recordset ' recordset for product data
  ' open the recordset for products
  Set rst = CurrentDb.TableDefs!Products.OpenRecordset
  ' loop through the rows in the recordset
  Do Until rst.EOF
    With Me.xProductTreeview.Nodes.Add(Relationship:=tvwChild, _
        Relative:="Cat=" & CStr(rst!CategoryID), _
        Text:=rst!ProductName, Key:="Prod=" & CStr(rst!ProductID))
      If rst!Discontinued Then
        .ForeColor = vbGrayText
      End If

    End With
End Sub

The change here is that discontinued products will be a different colour. The lines in bold make that happen. Note the use of vbGrayText, a System Color Constant that tells Windows to use a color from the users desktop colors, rather than hardcoding a color that might not work for the user. Just like when we created the category nodes we have a with block to allow us to set attributes for the node we just created.

In this episode we covered:

  • setting properties of the treeview that control ts appearance
  • using a with block to set properties of a node after it's created
  • setting the expanded and forecolor properties of a node

In episode 4 we'll add buttons that interact with the treeview. Stay tuned! Check out all the posts in MyTreeviewProject.