How To Insert a Checkbox Into Microsoft Word

550122 How To Insert a Checkbox Into Microsoft Word

Checkboxes are useful for creating to-do lists, surveys, forms, and other documents where you want the reader to be able to check off items. Adding a checkbox in Microsoft Word is easy, whether you want checkboxes that can be checked electronically or print-only checkboxes.

Enable the Developer Tab

To add functional, clickable checkboxes in Word, you first need to enable the Developer tab on the ribbon. Here’s how:

  1. Click the File tab and select Options.
  2. Click Customize Ribbon on the left.
  3. Under Main Tabs, check the box next to Developer.
  4. Click OK.

The Developer tab will now be displayed in the ribbon.

Insert a Checkbox

Once the Developer tab is enabled:

  1. Click where you want to insert a checkbox.
  2. On the Developer tab, click the Checkbox Content Control button.

A checkbox will be inserted. Repeat this process to add additional checkboxes.

To check or uncheck the box, simply click on it.

Customize the Checkbox Symbol

Don’t like the default “X” symbol for checked boxes? You can easily change it to another symbol:

  1. Click on the checkbox to select it.
  2. On the Developer tab, click Properties.
  3. Next to Checked symbol, click Change.
  4. Select a new symbol, such as a checkmark.
  5. Click OK to apply the change.

Add Checkboxes to a Bullet List

To transform regular bullet points into checkboxes:

  1. Create the bullet list using the Bullets button on the Home tab.
  2. Select the entire list.
  3. On the Developer tab, click Checkbox Content Control to turn all bullets into checkboxes.

Print-Only Checkboxes

The above steps produce functional checkboxes that readers can check/uncheck electronically. If you just want to insert decorative checkboxes for printed documents:

  1. Place your cursor where you want a checkbox.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Symbol.
  3. Select a checkbox symbol from a font like Wingdings.
  4. Click Insert.

These print-only checkboxes can be checked off by hand on a printed page.

Tips for Using Checkboxes

  • Only one checkbox can be checked at a time if they are part of a group. To group checkboxes, select them and click Group on the Developer tab.
  • Use checkboxes for simple yes/no or true/false choices. For longer responses, use form fields or content controls.
  • You can link a checkbox to a bookmark to apply formatting when checked. This helps create interactive checklists and forms.
  • Lock your form to prevent unwanted changes by clicking Restrict Editing on the Developer tab once finished.

Common Problems With Checkboxes

Here are some common troubleshooting tips for working with checkboxes:

Checkbox jumps positions when typing: Anchor the checkbox by right-clicking it, selecting Size and Position, and changing the text wrapping to In line with text.

Can’t get rid of form field box outline: The outline won’t display on the printed document, only on the screen. To hide it, right-click the checkbox, select Properties, and choose Hidden under Show as.

Checkbox X disappears: The X means the box is checked. Click the box again to remove the X and uncheck it.

Can’t move or delete a checkbox: You need to unlock the form to make changes. Click Restrict Editing on the Developer tab and uncheck the editing restrictions.


Whether you want simple print checkboxes or advanced clickable form fields, checkboxes are easy to add and customize in Word. Use them to create scannable, interactive checklists, forms, questionnaires, and other documents.

The key is enabling the Developer tab, which unlocks checkbox controls and other useful features for building forms. Take advantage of checkboxes to improve reader engagement and interactivity.