How to Work With Check Boxes in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Working with checkboxes in Word is a simple process that can enhance your documents’ interactivity and organization. Whether you’re creating a survey, a checklist, or a form, adding checkboxes can provide a clear way for readers to make selections. Once you’ve inserted checkboxes into your document, they can be easily checked or unchecked to indicate choices.

After inserting checkboxes, readers can interact with your document by selecting or clearing the checkboxes to indicate their choices or preferences. This can make your document more user-friendly and easier to navigate.


Checkboxes are nifty little tools in Word that you might not think about until you need them. But once you do, they’re a game-changer! They’re like those little clickable boxes you see on forms and surveys, allowing you to mark your choices with a satisfying click. But why is knowing how to work with checkboxes important? Well, for starters, they can make your documents look super professional and organized. Whether you’re putting together a to-do list, a questionnaire, or an application form, checkboxes help your readers or users interact with your content in a clear, straightforward way. It’s like giving them a little road map through your document – “Check here, don’t check there, and voila! Mission accomplished.”

Knowing how to add checkboxes in Word is especially relevant to anyone who creates documents that require user input or interaction. This includes business professionals, educators, administrators, and just about anyone who uses Word to collect information from others. And let’s face it, that’s a lot of us! So buckle in, because we’re about to dive into the world of checkboxes and transform you into a Word wizard in no time.

How to Work With Check Boxes in Word

Before jumping into the nitty-gritty, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve by adding checkboxes to our Word document. We’ll enhance the document’s functionality by allowing users to make selections, which is especially useful for digital forms or printed materials where users can physically tick off options.

Step 1: Open the Developer Tab

First off, you’ll need to make sure the Developer tab is visible on the ribbon. If it’s not, right-click on the ribbon and select “Customize the Ribbon,” then check the “Developer” box.

The Developer tab is like the secret back door of Word that opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It’s where all the cool, advanced features hang out, including the checkbox option we’re looking for.

Step 2: Place Your Cursor Where You Want the Checkbox

Next, place your cursor at the desired location in your document where you want to insert a checkbox.

Think of your cursor as a magic wand that you’re pointing at the exact spot where you want your checkbox to appear. Abra-cadabra, checkbox!

Step 3: Click on the Checkbox Content Control

Once the Developer tab is open, hit the “Checkbox Content Control” button. A checkbox will appear where your cursor is located.

You’ll feel a little thrill when that checkbox pops into existence. It’s like you’ve just added a super cool interactive element to your document with the click of a button.

Step 4: Copy and Paste the Checkbox

If you need more than one checkbox, simply copy the checkbox you just created and paste it wherever you need more.

This step is all about saving time. Why go through the process of adding one checkbox at a time when you can copy and paste like a pro?

Step 5: Format the Checkbox

To change the size or style of the checkbox, right-click on it and choose “Properties.” Here you can adjust the size, change the symbol, and more.

Customizing your checkbox is like giving it a mini-makeover. It’s all about making sure it fits the vibe of your document and looks just right.


Easy to useCheckboxes in Word are incredibly user-friendly. Once set up, they can be clicked on and off with ease, making them perfect for any document that requires user interaction.
CustomizableYou have the freedom to change the size, default symbol, and even the color of your checkboxes, ensuring they match the style and tone of your document.
Enhances documentsAdding checkboxes can make your documents more interactive and engaging, helping to guide the reader through the content and clearly display options.


Limited design optionsWhile there is some level of customization available, Word’s checkboxes do not offer the same design versatility as some specialized form creation tools.
Can be overlooked when printingIf not formatted correctly, checkboxes can be easy to miss on a printed page, especially if they are small or not clearly marked.
Requires Developer TabTo access the checkbox feature, you need to use the Developer tab, which may not be familiar to all Word users and can add an extra step to the process.

Additional Information

When working with checkboxes in Word, there are a few extra tidbits you might find useful. For instance, if you’re creating a form that will be filled out digitally, you can protect the document so that users can only interact with the checkboxes and not modify other parts of the text. This keeps things neat and ensures your document stays just the way you designed it.

Another handy trick is to use the tab key to quickly jump between checkboxes, making it a breeze for users to fill out your form or survey. And don’t forget about the power of copy and paste! If you’ve got a long list of items that all need checkboxes, simply create one checkbox and then copy and paste it down the line. It’s a huge time saver.

Now, let’s say you’re working with a printed document. In that case, you might want to make your checkboxes a bit larger and more prominent so they’re easy to check off with a pen or pencil. And speaking of visibility, consider using the “Shading” feature to give your checkboxes a background color that pops off the page.

Lastly, remember that the prompt keyword we’re focusing on here is “checkboxes in Word.” So if you’re ever stuck and need to find more information, just pop that phrase into your favorite search engine, and you’ll unlock a treasure trove of tips and tutorials.


  1. Open the Developer Tab
  2. Place Your Cursor Where You Want the Checkbox
  3. Click on the Checkbox Content Control
  4. Copy and Paste the Checkbox
  5. Format the Checkbox

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add checkboxes to a Word document without the Developer tab?

Unfortunately, the checkbox content control is only accessible through the Developer tab. However, you can insert a symbol that looks like a checkbox, but it won’t be clickable.

How do I make sure my checkboxes print clearly?

Increase the size of the checkboxes and consider adding a border or shading for better visibility when printing.

Can I use checkboxes in Word for an online survey?

Yes, checkboxes in Word can be used for online surveys. When the document is protected, users can click to check or uncheck the boxes digitally.

How can I align my checkboxes in Word?

Use the alignment tools under the “Home” tab to ensure your checkboxes are lined up neatly with your text.

Can I save a document with checkboxes as a PDF?

Yes, you can save your Word document as a PDF, and the checkboxes will remain interactive if the PDF reader supports that feature.


Mastering checkboxes in Word can elevate your documents from mundane to interactive masterpieces. Whether in a digital format or printed out for physical interaction, checkboxes add a level of engagement and clarity that text alone cannot achieve. Remember, with a bit of practice and exploration of Word’s Developer tab, anyone can become adept at incorporating checkboxes into their work.

So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your documents transform with every tick! And if you ever need a refresher, just remember the prompt keyword: checkboxes in Word. It’s your gateway to becoming a checkbox guru. Keep on clicking, and let those checkboxes check off your success!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy