How to Create Check Boxes in MS Word

By Kevin Lee

Check boxes make it possible to produce checklists, which are useful for managing to-do lists, questionnaires and other documents. Using tables, you can create interactive checklists by adding check boxes to MS Word documents.

Add Developer Tab

Step 1

Open Word.

Step 2

Locate the ribbon at the top of the screen. Proceed to the next section if the ribbon already contains the "Developer" tab.

Step 3

Click "File" if you use Word 2010. Otherwise, click "Microsoft Office."

Step 4

Click "Word Options" if you use Word 2007. Click "Options" if you use Word 2010.

Step 5

Click "Customize the Ribbon" and put a check mark next to "Developer" if you use Word 2010. Otherwise click "Popular" and put a check mark next to "Show the Developer tab in the Ribbon."

Step 6

Click "OK." The "Developer" tab will appear on the Word ribbon.

Create Table

Step 1

Click "Insert," then click "Table." Select "Insert Table" from the drop-down menu.

Step 2

Enter "2" in the "Number of Columns" box. Enter a value in the "Number of Rows" box. The value you enter will determine the number of check boxes you can create. For example, if you want five check boxes, enter "5" in the text box.

Step 3

Click "OK." Word will insert a table containing two columns into the document. The columns on the left contain the check boxes, and the columns on the right hold the text for each check box.

Add Check Boxes

Step 1

Click the top left cell in the table.

Step 2

Click the "Developer" tab and locate the "Legacy Tools" icon in the "Controls" section of the ribbon.

Step 3

Click "Legacy Tools," then click "Check Box Form Field." Word will add a check box to the table's top left cell.

Step 4

Continue to the next step if the check box does not have a gray background. Otherwise, click "Legacy Tools," then click "Form Field Shading" to remove the gray background.

Step 5

Click the cell below the top left cell and press "CTRL+Y" to add a check box to that cell. Continue to click cells in the left column and press "CTRL+Y" to add additional check boxes.

Step 6

Click the cell on the top right of the table. Type the text that goes with the corresponding check box. Repeat this process for the remaining cells in the table's right column.

Customize the Check Boxes

Step 1

Right-click the table and select "Autofit." Select "Autofit to Contents" from the drop-down menu.

Step 2

Right-click the table and click "Table Properties" to open the "Table Properties" pop-up window.

Step 3

Click the "Table" tab and then click "Options." Enter a value such as .02 or .04 in the "Left" and "Right" text boxes. These values determine the left and right margins of the cells. Use higher numbers to increase the spacing between the check boxes and their associated text. Click "OK."

Step 4

Click "Borders and Shading." Click the "Borders" tab and then click "None." Click "OK."

Step 5

Click the "Developer" tab. Click "Protect Document" and then click "Restrict Formatting and Editing."

Step 6

Put a check mark in the "Allow only this type of editing in the document" check box. Click the drop-down box below the check box and select "Filling in forms."

Step 7

Click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection."

Tips & Warnings

  • The "Start Enforcing Protection" option protects the document from editing and allows readers to click the check boxes to check them.