Make a checklist in Word 2016 for Mac

With Word you can create two kinds of checklists:

  • Lists with boxes or check marks instead of bullets or numbers. Use boxes if you plan to print the list and check off each item you complete.

  • Lists you can check off in Word. This involves adding a content control from the Developer tab, but you don't need to be a developer to do it.

Replace bullets or numbers with check marks or boxes

You can replace the bullets or numbers that mark each item in a list with another symbol that you choose, such as a box that you can check on a printed version of your document. The symbol that you chose will be added to the Bullet Library so it'll be handy if you want to use it again for another list.

To replace bullets or numbers with boxes for check marks
  1. Select the entire list.

    The bullets or numbers won’t look selected.

  2. Click Home, and then click the arrow next to Bullets.

    Click the arrow next to the bullets icon to select or add bullets.
  3. If you don’t see a check mark or check box you want in the Bullet Library, click Define New Bullet.

    Click Define New Bullet if Bullet Library does not have the symbol that you want.
  4. Click Bullet, and choose a symbol from the table of symbols.

    For more choices, in the Font box choose a symbol font, such as Wingdings.

  5. Scroll through the list of symbols and select the symbol you want to use, such as an open box ( A plain open box in the Wingdings font. ) or a three-dimensional box ( A shadowed open box in the Wingdings font. ).

  6. Click OK, and then click OK again in the Customize Bulleted list dialog box.

Make a checklist you can check off in Word

To create check boxes that you can check off in Word, add content controls for check boxes to your document.

Step 1: Show the Developer tab

The first step is to configure Word to display the Developer tab. If this tab is already visible in Word, you can skip the following procedure.

To display the Developer tab in Word
  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. In Word Preferences, click View.

    In Word Preferences, click View to change display preferences.
  3. Near the bottom of the View dialog box, select Show developer tab. and then click OK.

    At the bottom of the View dialog box, select Show developer tab.

Step 2: Make your list

Unlike formatting a list with bullets or numbers, you add check boxes individually to each list item. Also, to have white space between a check box and a list item, you press the Spacebar or the Tab key.

Tip: If you add a Tab character between a check box and the text in a list item, you can format the list item with hanging indentation, like Word applies to bulleted lists. Hanging indentation is covered in Step 3: Refine the layout.

The following procedure describes adding check boxes as you create the list; the second describes adding check boxes to an existing list.

To add check boxes to list items as you create the list
  1. Click the Developer tab, and then click Check Box.

    Click Check Box to insert a check box that you can mark in Word.
  2. If you want white space after the check box, press the Tab key or the Spacebar.

  3. Type the first item in your list, and click Enter.

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each item in your list.

To add check boxes to an existing list
  1. Place the cursor at the start of the first list item.

  2. Click the Developer tab, and then click Check Box.

    Click Check Box to insert a check box that you can mark in Word.
  3. If you want white space after the check box, press the Tab key or the Spacebar.

  4. Select the check box and any Tab characters or spaces that you added after the check box, and then copy the selected characters by pressing Command-C.

  5. Place the cursor at the start of the next list item, and then paste the copied check box and characters by pressing Command-V.

  6. Repeat Step 5 for each remaining item in your list.

Step 3: Refine the layout

If some of the items in your list are more than one line long, you can use hanging indentation to align them.

To apply hanging indentation to a list
  1. Select the list.

  2. On the Format menu, click Paragraph.

    The Paragraph window

  3. Under Indentation, type 0.25 in the Left box.

  4. In the Special list, click Hanging.

    For hanging indentation of a list, set indentation for Left, and set Special to Hanging.

    For By, Word sets a default value of 0.5 inches.

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