How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer

Filed in Blog by on May 3, 2021 0 Comments

How to insert a checkbox in Word that readers can print out or check off on their computer

  • If you want to print empty checkboxes that people can fill in real life, use Word’s “Home” tab.
  • By enabling Word’s Developer ribbon, you can add functional checkboxes that can be filled on a computer.

We live in a world of checklists and checkboxes, so it stands to reason you might sometimes want to include checkboxes in documents you create.

There are two different kinds of checkboxes you can create in Microsoft Word : decorative ones for printed documents (that can be checked off in real life with a pen or pencil), and functional checkboxes that users can check with a mouse click if they’re viewing the document on a computer.

How to insert a checkbox in Word for printed documents

1. Position the cursor where you want to place the checkbox in your Word document.

2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, make sure you’re on the “Home” tab and then click the down-arrow beside the Bullets button.

3. In the drop-down menu, click “Define New Bullet.”

Click the arrow to display the drop-down menu and then choose to define a new bullet.
Click the arrow to display the drop-down menu and then choose to define a new bullet.

4. Click “Symbol.”

5. In the Symbol dialog box, find a symbol that looks like a checkbox. There are a number of options to choose from, but here’s a good choice: In the “Font” drop-down, choose “Wingdings 2” and then in the “Character code” field, enter “163.” If you like this option, click “OK.”

Find a checkbox style you like - many people use character 163 in Wingdings 2, but there are many other similar options.Find a checkbox style you like – many people use character 163 in Wingdings 2, but there are many other similar options.

6. Click “OK” again to close the other open window.

7. The checkbox will now be added to your document.

To add more checkboxes, just use the Bullet button and it’ll be inserted automatically (to get your usual bullet back, click the down-arrow next to the Bullet button and choose the symbol you prefer). In the future, you can choose either the usual bullet or the checkbox from the menu without needing to select it from the “Define New Bullet” dialog box.

You can get back to the checkbox symbol from the Bullets menu.You can get back to the checkbox symbol from the Bullets menu.

How to insert a checkbox in Word for electronic documents

If you want a “clickable” checkbox in electronic documents, you’ll need to enable the Developer ribbon in Options. You’ll only need to do that once, and then you can add a functional checkbox anytime you need it.

1. In the ribbon at the top of Word, click the “File” tab and then click “Options.”

Open "Word Options" from the "File" tab of the ribbon.Open “Word Options” from the “File” tab of the ribbon.

2. In the Word “Options” dialog box, click “Customize Ribbon” in the navigation pane on the left.

3. In the “Customize the Ribbon” section on the right, choose “Main Tabs” from the drop-down menu and then click the checkbox for “Developer” in the list.

Enable the "Developer" options so it appears as a tab in the ribbon.Enable the “Developer” options so it appears as a tab in the ribbon.

4. Click “OK” to close Word Options.

5. In the ribbon, click the new “Developer” tab.

6. In the “Controls” section, click the checkbox icon. You should see it appear in the document. It’s clickable – you can make it appear checked or unchecked by clicking.

You can now add clickable checkboxes to your documents.You can now add clickable checkboxes to your documents.
You can change the appearance of checked and unchecked boxes from the Properties dialog box.You can change the appearance of checked and unchecked boxes from the Properties dialog box.

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