Create a printed form in Word

You can create a printed form in Word by building your form with check boxes, blank lines, and text boxes. You can also find many business, educational, and legal forms templates online, and you can change the templates to meet your needs.

For information about creating forms that people will fill in on their computers, see Create forms that users complete or print in Word.

In this article

Make a checklist to print

Underline blank spaces for a printed form

Insert text boxes for a printed form

Make a checklist to print

If you just want to create a checklist that you will fill out on paper, you can create a list that uses a box symbol as a bullet. You can choose from a variety of box characters.

The way that you create the list depends on whether your document already contains bulleted lists with different kinds of bullets.

Create a bulleted list with custom bullets

  1. Type your list of items.

  2. Select the list.

  3. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the arrow next to Bullets.

  4. Click Define New Bullet.

  5. Click Symbol.

  6. In the Font box, click a symbol font that is installed on your computer, such as Wingdings.

  7. Scroll through the list of available symbols, and then double-click the box symbol that you want to use, such as an open box ( Open box ) or a three-dimensional box ( 3D box ).

Create a table to prevent altering the existing bullets

Step 1: Create a table

  1. On the Insert tab, click Table > Insert Table.

  2. In the Number of columns box, enter 2.

  3. In the Number of rows box, enter the number of rows that you want. You need one row for each item in your list.

  4. Click OK.

Step 2: Insert the check boxes and text

  1. Click the top left cell.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol, and then click More Symbols.

  3. Click the Symbols tab.

  4. In the Font box, click a symbol font that is installed on your computer, such as Wingdings.

  5. Scroll through the list of available symbols, and then double-click the box symbol that you want to use, such as an open box ( Open box ) or a three-dimensional box ( 3D box ).

  6. Click Close.

  7. Click the next cell where you want to insert a box, and then press CTRL+Y to insert another box.

  8. After you insert a box for each item that you want in the left column, type the text you want for each list item in the right column of the table.

Step 3: Refine the layout

Although you are using the table to lay out the list, you probably want to adjust the spacing so that the column that contains the check boxes isn't too wide, and the text is lined up close to the check boxes. You probably don't want the border lines that Word usually includes with the table. To make these adjustments, do the following:

  1. Right-click the table, point to AutoFit, and then click AutoFit to Contents.

  2. Right-click the table, click Table Properties, and then click the Table tab.

  3. Click Options, and in the Left and Right boxes, enter a number that will provide a little bit of space between the check box and the text, such as .02 inches, and then click OK.

  4. On the Table tab, click Borders and Shading, and then click the Borders tab.

  5. Under Setting, click None, and then click OK.

    Note: After you remove the border lines, you may still see gray border lines. These are the table gridlines, and they do not show when the document is printed. If you don't want to see them at all, you can hide them by clicking View Gridlines in the Table group on the Layout tab under Table Tools.

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Underline blank spaces for a printed form

You can underline blank spaces by pressing SHIFT+HYPHEN (-), but it is difficult to line up the underlines — if you are creating a fill-in form, for example. Also, if the AutoFormat option for changing underscore characters into border lines is turned on, pressing SHIFT+HYPHEN (-) three or more times in a row will result in a line that extends the width of the paragraph, which may not be what you want.

A better way to underline blank spaces for a printed document is to use the TAB key and apply the underline formatting to the tab characters.

Apply underline formatting to tab characters

  1. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Show/Hide ¶.

    The marks that indicate spaces and tab stops are displayed.

  2. Press the TAB key.

  3. Select the tab characters that you want to underline. A tab character looks like a small arrow.
    Tab

  4. Do one of the following:

    • Press CTRL+U to apply a simple underline format.

    • To apply a different style of underline, on the Home tab, click the Font Dialog Box Launcher Dialog box launcher , click the Font tab, and then click Underline style to choose a different underline style.

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Insert text boxes for a printed form

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Text Box.

  2. Click Draw Text Box, and then draw the text box where you want it in your form.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Leave the text box blank. The text box boundary prints when you print the form.

    • Type the text in the text box. You can format the text by selecting the text and clicking options in the Mini toolbar that appears next to the selected text.

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