How to Add a Check Box in Microsoft Word

By C. Taylor

Microsoft Word allows you to enter check boxes in your document, which can be checked by a user on his computer. These check boxes, and any checks therein, are printable, so you can easily create to-do lists. To add the check boxes, you need to enable the "Developer" tab on the top Word ribbon. Although the check boxes are always printable, you have to "protect" the document before they are clickable on a computer.

Enable Developer Tab

Step 1

Click the top-left "Office" button and select "Word Options" at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

Step 2

Click "Popular" on the left-hand pane.

Step 3

Check "Show Developer tab in the Ribbon," then click "OK."

Adding Check Box

Step 1

Click the "Developer" tab.

Step 2

Click the bottom-right "Legacy Tools" icon in the "Controls" group. When you hover over the icon, a tool-tip pops up saying, "Legacy Tools."

Step 3

Click the "Check Box" icon, which is the second icon under "Legacy Forms" in the "Legacy Tools" drop-down menu.

Step 4

Click the "Legacy Tools" icon again and select the "Form Field Shading" icon, which looks like an "a" surrounded by horizontal lines. This toggles the check box from gray to white.

Step 5

Press "Ctrl-Y" to create another check box.This shortcut repeats the last character or symbol entered. If you type something else after creating the check box, this combination will no longer replicate the check box.

Protecting the Document to Make Check Boxes Clickable

Step 1

Click the "Review" tab.

Step 2

Click "Protect Document" in the "Protect" group and select "Restrict Formatting and Editing."

Step 3

Check "Allow only this type of editing in the document" from the "2. Editing restrictions" section of the side panel. Click the drop-down menu immediately under this section and select "Filling in forms."

Step 4

Click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection."

Step 5

Enter an optional password if you want to prevent other uses from disabling protection, then click "OK." The check boxes will then be clickable.