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How to add checkbox in Word in three methods

In this article, we want to show you how to add or insert a checkbox in a Word document in three methods. The first method is to insert a symbol that looks like a checkbox. Another method is to make a checklist and add checkboxes by using the bullets in Microsoft Word. Change the look of the bullets into a checkbox symbol. You can also create a checkbox from the developer tab in the ribbon in your Word document. Here you can insert a box to check in with a tick or check mark in Word. This is how you can add a fillable checkbox in Word.

1 – Insert a symbol checkbox in Word

The fastest way to add a checkbox is to insert a symbol. The only disadvantage of having a checkbox using a symbol is that it is not clickable. But it is useful if you want to print out your Word document. If you want a clickable checkbox, you should read about it in method 3.

Let’s explain the difference between a checkbox and a check mark. A checkbox is a small square symbol. A check mark is a tick you use to show that it is selected. See the below picture for further explanation, or read which terms (check, checkbox, check mark) Microsoft uses.

Checkbox vs. check mark

Follow the steps to insert a checkbox symbol in Word:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the checkbox to appear.
  2. Click on the Insert tab in the ribbon
  3. Click on the Symbol icon
  4. Select More Symbols
Insert checkbox symbol

The Symbol dialog box opens up.

  1. You have to be in the Symbols tab
  2. Change the font to > Wingdings
  3. Scroll up or down to find your symbol
  4. Select the checkbox symbol, so it turns blue
    • e.g., Wingdings 111
  5. Click Insert
How to insert a box to check in Word

The symbol will automatically insert into your Word document. You can put your cursor somewhere else in your document and insert a checkbox symbol again.

  • Or double-click your symbol to insert it
  • When you are done > click on Close
How to insert a box to check in Word

The next time you want to insert a checkbox symbol, you will find it under the Symbol icon (most recent). It will keep the most recent symbols you used in a Word document. If you hover over the symbol, you can see its exact name, as you can see in the below picture.

most recent symbol checkbox

2 – Insert a checklist using a checkbox symbol in Word

For this method, we want to explain to insert a box to check in by using the bullets in Word. If you don’t know how to add a bullet point in Word, don’t worry. We will explain to you step by step how to insert a checkbox in Word.

Add a checkbox in Word using bullets

In your Home tab in the ribbon, you can create a checklist. It is easy to add checkboxes in Word.

Steps to add checkboxes in Word:

  • Go to the Home tab
  • In the Paragraph group > Click on the drop-down arrow of the bullets
  • Select > Define New Bullet
add checkboxes in Word using bullets

The Define New Bullet dialog box opens up.

  • Click on Symbol
how to add checkbox in word in two methods

Now the Symbol dialog box opens up.

  • Select Font: Wingdings
  • Select the symbol for the checkbox, e.g., Wingdings 168
  • Then click OK
How to insert a box to check in Word

You will be redirected to the Define New Bullet dialog box.

  • Here you should click OK

The symbol of a checkbox inserts into your Word document.

How to insert a box to check in Word

Edit checkbox

Once the checkbox is added to your Word document, you can change the symbol into another checkbox. Select the checkbox and follow the previous steps.

Next to the checkbox, you can type content on the same line. Then you can insert multiple checkboxes under it to make it look like a checklist. Click the enter button once, and the following checkbox comes under it. Now you can insert another checkbox in your Word document.

The advantage is that you can edit the checklist and move it further to the right and left without using the spacebar.

  • Select the text with the checkboxes in your Word document
  • Click on the indent icon in the Paragraph group in the ribbon.

In our example below, we have increased the indent for the answers to question 2. If you did not like it, you can decrease the indent and move it back closer to the margin.

How to insert a box to check in Word

3 – Insert a checkbox from the Developer tab in the ribbon

For this method, it is possible to have a clickable checkbox in your Word document. If you need to add a fillable checkbox in Word, you need to add the developer tab in the ribbon. By default, it is not visible in your Word document. Therefore we need to customize the ribbon and add it from the Word Options dialog box. We will first guide you through the steps to adding the developer tab in the ribbon. Then we will show you to add a fillable checkbox to your Word document.

Add the Developer tab in Word

First, we need to add the developer tab to the ribbon.

  • Right-click on the ribbon
  • Select > Customize the Ribbon
how to add a fillable checkbox in Word

It opens up the Word Options dialog box.

  1. In the left pane > Customize Ribbon
  2. On the right side, go to > Customize the Ribbon > Select Main Tabs from the drop-down list
    • Under here, you can see the entire list of all the tabs, where almost all tabs are selected.
  3. Select the checkbox in front of Developer > it changes to blue with a check mark
  4. Click OK

You will see a new tab Developer appear in your ribbon in Word, which you will use to make a fillable checkbox.

add the developer tab to add a fillable checkbox in Word

Add a fillable checkbox in Word

Follow these steps to add a fillable checkbox in a Word document:

  1. Put your cursor where you want the checkbox to appear
  2. Click on the Developer tab in the ribbon
  3. Go to the Controls group > Click on the checkbox icon

It will insert a checkbox to your Word document.

how to add a fillable checkbox in Word

Change style checkbox and check mark in Word

If you click once on the checkbox, it puts a cross on your checkbox. It means that the checkbox is selected. You can also press your space bar to put a check mark. You can also customize the style of the checkboxes or check marks.

Once you insert a box to check in from the developer tab into your Word document, you can change its style. Since this is a fillable checkbox, you can even customize the check mark.

How to change the style of a fillable checkbox or check mark in Word:

  1. Click on the checkbox you inserted
  2. Go to the Developer tab in the ribbon
  3. In the Controls group > Click on Properties
    • The Content Control Properties dialog box opens up.
    • Go to the Check Box Properties
  4. Checked symbol (check mark) > Click on Change
    • Once you click on change > the Symbol dialog box opens up.
  5. Change the font > Select Wingdings
  6. Click on a symbol, so it turns blue
    • e.g., Wingdings 252
  7. Click OK to confirm > it closes the Symbol dialog box
how to add a fillable checkbox in Word

Once the Symbol dialog box closes, you can see the checked symbol has changed into the symbol you chose.

  • Click OK in the Content Control Properties.
How to insert a checkbox in Word document

Then you can see the checked symbol changed in your Word document. In the left picture, you can see the default check mark. You can see the customized check mark in Word on the right image.

Check mark in Word change

Read this article if you want to create a fillable form in a Word document.

Conclusion

There are three methods to insert a checkbox in a Word document. The fastest way is to insert a checkbox symbol. Or you can make a list using the bullets and change it into a checkbox symbol to add checkboxes in Word. You can also add a fillable checkbox in Word using the developer tab in the ribbon. Insert a box to check in Word and customize it later.

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