Make a checklist in Word

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

  1. Select the entire list. The bullets or numbers won’t look selected.

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

    Paragraph Bullets

  3. If you don’t see a check mark or check box you want in the Bullet Library, click Define New Bullet.

  4. Click Symbol, 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 (Open box) or a three-dimensional box (3D box).

  6. Click OK, and then click OK again in the Define New Bullet dialog box.

The symbol you chose will be added to the Bullet Library so it'll be handy if you want to use it again.

Make a checklist you can check off in Word

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

Step 1: Show the Developer tab

  1. Click File>Options>Customize Ribbon.

  2. Under Customize the Ribbon, click Main Tabs.

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

    Developer check box

Step 2: Make your list

  1. Click the Developer tab and in the Controls group, click the Check Box Content Control, and then click to the right of the box.

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

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

Tip    For a faster way to create the list, first type all the items in the list, then insert the check box control for the first item, select the control, click CTRL+C to copy it, and use CTRL+V to paste the check box in front of each item in the list.

Note    Click inside a check box control to put an X inside the box. To use something other than an X and a check box, select a check box content control, click Properties in the Controls group, and next to Checked symbol, click Change, and then choose a new symbol to 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 can use hanging indents to align them.

  1. Select the list. The bullets or numbers won’t look selected.

  2. Click Home and click the Paragraph Dialog Box Launcher.

    Paragraph dialog box launcher

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

  4. Under Special, click Hanging.

Step 4: Lock the text and controls

When you're satisfied with the list, group it to lock the controls and listed items in place. That way, people can check off items on the list without changing the items themselves.

  1. Select the list (the check box controls and the listed items).

  2. Click Developer and in the Controls group, click Group > Group.

    If you need to change something later, select the list again and click Group > Ungroup.

Applies To: Word 2013



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language