How to Do a Checkbox in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a checkbox in Word may seem like a daunting task, but fear not—it’s actually quite simple! By following a few easy steps, you can insert checkboxes into your Word documents for forms, lists, or any other purpose where you might need them. Let’s get started!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Do a Checkbox in Word

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that checkboxes can be added in two ways: as clickable form fields that can be checked and unchecked in a digital document, or as printable symbols for paper documents. We’ll cover both methods.

Step 1: Open the "Developer" Tab

To insert a checkbox in Word, you need to have the Developer tab available.

If the Developer tab isn’t visible, you’ll need to enable it. To do this, right-click on the Ribbon (the toolbar at the top of Word) and select "Customize the Ribbon." In the right pane, check the box next to "Developer" and click "OK." The Developer tab will now appear in the Ribbon.

Step 2: Place Your Cursor Where You Want the Checkbox

Click in the document where you want the checkbox to appear.

Remember that if you’re creating a list, you’ll need to add a checkbox for each item separately. Make sure to click exactly where you want the checkbox to be inserted.

Step 3: Insert a Clickable Checkbox or a Checkbox Symbol

For a clickable checkbox, in the Developer tab, click on "Checkbox Content Control" in the Controls group. For a printable checkbox symbol, go to the "Insert" tab, click on "Symbol," and choose a checkbox symbol from the list.

If you choose a clickable checkbox, users will be able to check and uncheck it in the digital document. If you choose a symbol, it will be static and meant for printing.

Step 4: Customize the Checkbox (Optional)

To customize a clickable checkbox, select it and then click on "Properties" in the Developer tab. You can change the checkbox symbol, name, and more.

For a symbol checkbox, you can change its size, font, and color just like any other text character.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a document with checkboxes that can be interacted with or printed out for use in surveys, forms, or checklists.

Tips for Doing a Checkbox in Word

  • Make sure you’re in "Design Mode" in the Developer tab when customizing clickable checkboxes.
  • Use a table to align checkboxes and text neatly, especially if you’re creating a form or list.
  • Copy and paste checkboxes to avoid having to insert them one by one.
  • Save your document as a template if you plan on using checkboxes frequently.
  • Test your clickable checkboxes by exiting Design Mode and trying to check and uncheck them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add checkboxes to an existing list in Word?

Absolutely! Just click next to the list item where you want the checkbox to appear and follow the steps to insert it.

How do I make sure my checkboxes print well?

If you’re using checkbox symbols, make sure they’re large enough to be easily seen when printed. Also, consider using a thicker font or a darker color for better visibility.

Can I change the size of the checkboxes?

Yes, you can. For checkbox symbols, just increase the font size. For clickable checkboxes, use the Properties option to modify the size.

How do I make a checklist with checkboxes that can be checked electronically?

Use the clickable checkbox option in the Developer tab. This allows users to check and uncheck boxes in the digital document.

Can I lock the checkboxes so they can’t be modified?

Yes. Once you’ve inserted your checkboxes and are satisfied with their placement, you can protect the document by clicking on "Restrict Editing" in the Developer tab.


  1. Open the "Developer" tab.
  2. Place your cursor where you want the checkbox.
  3. Insert a clickable checkbox or a checkbox symbol.
  4. Customize the checkbox (optional).


Mastering how to do a checkbox in Word can significantly enhance the functionality and interactivity of your documents, whether you’re creating forms, surveys, checklists, or simply organizing your tasks. It’s a skill that proves useful in a myriad of scenarios, from professional settings to personal projects. With the ability to customize and align checkboxes to fit your document’s design, and the added convenience of making them printable or clickable depending on your needs, checkboxes become an indispensable tool in your Word toolkit. Keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be adding checkboxes to your documents with ease and confidence. And always remember, a well-organized document is just a few checkboxes away!

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