How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer

Advertisement
How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
Adding checkboxes in Microsoft Word is a great way to make surveys, tests, and more.StefaNikolic/Getty Images
  • You can insert a checkbox in a Word document in 2 ways, depending on how you want it to be used.
  • If you want to print empty checkboxes that people can fill in real life, use Word's "Home" tab.
  • By enabling Word's Developer ribbon, you can add functional checkboxes that can be filled on a computer.
Advertisement

We live in a world of checklists and checkboxes, so it stands to reason you might sometimes want to include checkboxes in documents you create.

There are two different kinds of checkboxes you can create in Microsoft Word: decorative ones for printed documents (that can be checked off in real life with a pen or pencil), and functional checkboxes that users can check with a mouse click if they're viewing the document on a computer.

How to insert a checkbox in Word for printed documents

1. Position the cursor where you want to place the checkbox in your Word document.

Complimentary Tech Event
Discover the future of SaaS in India
The 6-part video series will capture the vision of Indian SaaS leaders and highlight the potential for the sector in the decades to come.25th Aug, 2022 Starts at 04:00 PM (40 mins)Register Now
Our Speakers
Dan Sheeran
Sandeep Gupta

2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, make sure you're on the "Home" tab and then click the down-arrow beside the Bullets button.

3. In the drop-down menu, click "Define New Bullet."

Advertisement

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
Click the arrow to display the drop-down menu and then choose to define a new bullet.Dave Johnson/Insider

4. Click "Symbol."

5. In the Symbol dialog box, find a symbol that looks like a checkbox. There are a number of options to choose from, but here's a good choice: In the "Font" drop-down, choose "Wingdings 2" and then in the "Character code" field, enter "163." If you like this option, click "OK."

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
Find a checkbox style you like - many people use character 163 in Wingdings 2, but there are many other similar options.Dave Johnson/Insider

6. Click "OK" again to close the other open window.

7. The checkbox will now be added to your document.

To add more checkboxes, just use the Bullet button and it'll be inserted automatically (to get your usual bullet back, click the down-arrow next to the Bullet button and choose the symbol you prefer). In the future, you can choose either the usual bullet or the checkbox from the menu without needing to select it from the "Define New Bullet" dialog box.

Advertisement
How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
You can get back to the checkbox symbol from the Bullets menu.Dave Johnson/Insider

How to insert a checkbox in Word for electronic documents

If you want a "clickable" checkbox in electronic documents, you'll need to enable the Developer ribbon in Options. You'll only need to do that once, and then you can add a functional checkbox anytime you need it.

1. In the ribbon at the top of Word, click the "File" tab and then click "Options."

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
Open "Word Options" from the "File" tab of the ribbon.Dave Johnson/Insider

2. In the Word "Options" dialog box, click "Customize Ribbon" in the navigation pane on the left.

3. In the "Customize the Ribbon" section on the right, choose "Main Tabs" from the drop-down menu and then click the checkbox for "Developer" in the list.

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
Enable the "Developer" options so it appears as a tab in the ribbon.Dave Johnson/Insider

4. Click "OK" to close Word Options.

Advertisement

5. In the ribbon, click the new "Developer" tab.

6. In the "Controls" section, click the checkbox icon. You should see it appear in the document. It's clickable - you can make it appear checked or unchecked by clicking.

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
You can now add clickable checkboxes to your documents.Dave Johnson/Insider

How to change the appearance of the electronic checkbox

If you prefer, you change the way the checkbox appears when it's clicked. To customize it, do this:

  1. Click the checkbox and then, in the Controls section, click "Properties."
  2. On this Properties dialog box, click "Change" next to "Checked symbol" or "Unchecked symbol."

    How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer
    You can change the appearance of checked and unchecked boxes from the Properties dialog box.Dave Johnson/Insider
  3. Choose which style you want to use for the button and then click "OK." That's all you need to do to change the way the checkbox looks.
45 essential Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts for quickly creating, writing, and editing documents How to use Find and Replace in Microsoft Word to make quick edits to a document How to use Track Changes in Word to effectively collaborate on a document How to remove a section break in Word and reformat the layout of your document
{{}}