Insert a Check Box in Microsoft Word

Add check boxes to electronic and printed Microsoft Word documents

What to Know

  • To insert decorative bullets: Select Home > Bullets > Define New Bullet > Symbol.
  • To add functional bullets: Select File > Options > Customize Ribbon > Main Tabs > Developer > Controls > Check Box Content Control.

This article explains how to insert two types of check boxes into a Word document: check boxes that are decorative only and are useful in printed documents and check boxes that can be checked electronically in the document. This tutorial applies to Word 2010 and above on macOS or Windows operating systems.

Insert Check Boxes for Printed Documents

Placing check boxes in your document strictly for visual purposes, whether on paper or on screen, is a simple process. You can't add a check mark to them within Word.

  1. Select a location in the Word document.

  2. Select the Home tab if it is not already selected.

  3. Choose the drop-down list accompanying the Bullets button.

  4. When the Bullet Library pop-out appears, select Define New Bullet.

  5. The Define New Bullet dialog displays, overlaying the main Word window. Select Symbol.

  6. Scroll the symbols list until you locate one suitable to use as a check box, clicking it once to select it. If you do not see an option that you like, choose a different value from the Font drop-down list—Webdings, for exampleto peruse additional sets of symbols.

    Microsoft Word supports special characters such as bullets, copyright and trademark symbols, various styles of arrows, and related glyphs.

  7. Select OK when you've made your choice.

    Inserting checkbox in Microsoft Word
    Lifewire / Scott Orgera
  8. From the Define New Bullet interface, select OK. If you followed the instructions correctly, the check box should now be added to your document.

Insert Check Boxes for Electronic Documents

In addition to visual symbol, Word supports functional check boxes. These come in handy for online checklists or other types of forms that require user interaction.

  1. Select File > Options.

  2. In the Word Options dialog, select Customize Ribbon.

  3. Under Customize the Ribbon, choose the Main Tabs option from the drop-down menu.

  4. Locate the Developer option and select + to expand the list. Place a check mark next to Developer by selecting its accompanying check box once.

    Word Options
  5. Select + next to the option labeled Controls, expanding its list as well.

  6. Select Check Box Content Control and select OK to return to the main Word interface.

  7. Activate the Developer tab, now added to the main menu toward the top of your screen.

  8. In the Controls section, select the check box icon.

  9. A new check box should now be inserted into your document.

    word checkbox

How to Change the Check Box Symbol

By default, an X appears in the check box when someone clicks it. This symbol can be changed, along with many other attributes of the new check box. Select it, then select Properties. From here you can modify the appearance of both checked and unchecked symbols, as well as the behavior of the check box itself when used within your electronic document.

Functional checkboxes in Microsoft Word
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