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How to add check boxes in Microsoft Word

Level up your lists with check boxes in Microsoft Word.
By
December 15, 2022

Check boxes make life so much easier when it comes to creating lists. Ticking things off those lists means they’re done, and you need not think about them any longer. For example, once you find what you’re looking for on your shopping list, you can check it off. This is how to add check boxes in Microsoft Word.

Read more: How to combine multiple Word documents

QUICK ANSWER

To add check boxes in Microsoft Word, go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon. Check the Developer box, then click OK. Finally, within your document, click Developer > Check Box Content Control.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to insert a check box in a Word document

Creating a print-only list

Creating a print-only list — meaning you can’t click on the check boxes to fill them in — is entirely possible from Define New Bullet. This is useful for lists where you have a pen or pencil handy. You can create empty squares for your lists that you can physically fill in manually with a pen or pencil.

Start by going to your Microsoft Word document and clicking the dropdown arrow on the Bullets button.

click bullet dropdown Word
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From the following options, click Define New Bullet….

click define new bullet dot dot dot Microsoft Word
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Within Define New Bullet, click Symbol….

select symbol Microsoft Word
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Using the dropdown at the top, change the font to Wingdings. Character codes 111, 112, 113, and 114 all work great for check boxes. When you find the empty box you like, click OK.

Back in the Define New Bullet pop-out, click OK.

finish defining new bullet Microsoft Word
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Your new check boxes are ready to go as bullets.

new bullets Microsoft Word
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Developer options

Open Microsoft Word. From the home screen (or, if you’re in a document, the File tab), click Options.

go to file options microsoft word
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In Word Options, click the Customize Ribbon tab.

go to Customize Ribbon microsoft word
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Within Customize Ribbon, find and select Developer within the “Customize the Ribbon” field. When you’ve checked it, select OK.

select developer micrososft word
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Back in your Word document, click the Developer tab.

go to the developer tab
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Click the Check Box Content Control button.

click the Check Box Content Control button in Controls
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Microsoft Support suggests you type out the list before clicking Check Box Content Control at the beginning of the first line. After that, you can change the X to a checkmark by going to Developer > Properties > Content Control Properties > Change (next to Checked symbol).

check box complete word
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