Make a checklist in Word

If you just need a checklist that you can print, you can make a list where each item has a check box that you can check off on paper. You can also create a list of check boxes and check off items electronically by opening the document in Word.

Note:  If you cannot check off an item electronically, it might be formatted for printing only or the document might be locked.

What do you want to do?

Make a checklist that you can check off in Word

Make a checklist to print

Make a checklist that you can check off in Word

To use check boxes that you can check off in Word, you insert the check box content control into your document. To check off the items, you add protection to the form.

The result looks like the following illustration.

Example of a check list

To add the check boxes, you need to use the Developer tab.

Step 1: Show the Developer tab

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Options.

  3. Click Customize Ribbon.

  4. Under Customize the Ribbon, click Main Tabs.

  5. In the list, select the Developer check box, and then click OK.

    Developer check box

Step 2: Make your list

  1. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click Check Box Content Control, and then press TAB.

  2. Type the first item in your list, and then click ENTER.

  3. Repeat steps 1-2 for each item in your list.

Tip:  You can also type all the items in the list, insert the check box control and tab character for the first item, and then use copy and paste to add the check box and tab character to each item in the list.

Note:  If you want to use a check mark symbol instead of the X, select the check box content control, click Properties in the Controls group, and then click the Change button next to Checked symbol. You can then choose a new symbol. The new symbol will replace both the box and the X.

Step 3: Refine the layout

If some of the items in your list are more than one line long, you might want to adjust the layout so that the items are aligned.

  1. Select the list.

  2. On the Home tab, click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher.

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

  4. Under Special, click Hanging.

Step 4: Group the controls so that you can check the items in the list

To check off the items by clicking in the check boxes, you need to group the controls. This will lock the text and layout.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Select, and then click Select All.

    Office 14 Ribbon

  2. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click Group, and then click Group again.

    Office 2010 ribbon

Top of Page

Make a checklist to print

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

  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.

    Office 14 Ribbon

  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 ).

Top of Page

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!