How to Make a Checklist in Microsoft Word

Get. Set. Check!

Create Checklist In Word Featured

Have you been wondering how to add a checklist in Word? You have arrived at the right place. You can add checklists (or checkboxes) to your Word documents with bulleted lists or via the checkbox control in the Developer menu. Let’s explore both ways to create a checklist in Microsoft Word.

Want to add a checklist to a PDF? You need to make the PDF editable first. Learn how to convert the PDF to Word!

How to Make a Checklist Using Bullet Points

One of the easiest ways to add a checkbox in your Word document is with bullet points. The option to do this is not visible by default. You will have to add the checkbox style to the bulleted list before you can use it in your documents.

Note: checkboxes that are added using bullet points aren’t clickable – you cannot check or uncheck them digitally. They’re best suited for printable documents.

Follow the steps below to use bullet points to add a checkbox to your Microsoft Word document

  1. Go to the “Home” tab in your Word document.
  2. Click on the downward arrow next to the bullet list toolbar button and select “Define New Bullet” from the menu.
Microsoft Word Define New Bullet
  1. Click on the “Symbol” button in the window that shows.
Microsoft Word Define New Bullet Symbol
  1. Click on the drop-down box next to “Font” in the Symbol window that appears and select “Wingdings 2.”
Microsoft Word Define New Bullet Symbol Winding

Tip: learn how to insert a degree symbol in your Word document.

  1. Type “163” in the “Character code” box to quickly find the checkbox symbol. Select it and click the “Ok” button. You can also find and use other signs, like a circle, for your checkbox.
Microsoft Word Define New Bullet Checkbox
  1. You need to perform the above steps only once. After adding the checkbox to the bullet list options, you can insert it anytime into your document by clicking on the downward arrow next to the bullet list in the “Home” tab and selecting the “checkbox bullet” from the list.
Microsoft Word Add Checkbox Bullet
  1. The checkbox will be added to your document.
Microsoft Word Bullet Checkbox

Tip: learn how to add a video to your Word document.

How to Insert a Checklist Using Developer Options

If you want to add checkboxes that can be used digitally to a Word document, you will have to use the “Check Box Control” feature in the Developer tab. This method allows you to customize what can be entered into the checkbox.

We have broken down the steps to add an editable checklist into three sections for easier understanding.

1. Enable the Developer Tab

First, enable Developer options in Microsoft Word as shown below. This is a one-time requirement.

  1. Click on the “File” tab at the top.
Microsoft Word File
  1. Go to “Options” in the sidebar.
Microsoft Word File Options
  1. Click on “Customize Ribbon” in the sidebar and select “Main Tabs” from the “Customize the Ribbon” drop-down menu.
Microsoft Word Ribbon Customize
  1. Scroll down the available list, check the box next to “Developer,” then click on the “OK” button to save the change. You will see the Developer option in the top bar.
Microsoft Word Ribbon Customize Add Developer

Note: to add the Developer tab on macOS, go to “Word Menu → Preferences,” select “Ribbon & toolbar → Customize the ribbon → Main tabs,” then check the Developer box and save the changes.

2. Add Check Box Control

After enabling the Developer options, follow these steps to add an interactive checkbox to your document:

  1. Click on the “Developer” tab in the top bar of your document.
Microsoft Word Developer
  1. Place your cursor in the location where you want to add a checkbox, then click on the “Check Box” icon in the Controls section.
Microsoft Word Developer Checkbox

That’s it. A checkbox will show up in the document. You can click on it to fill the checkbox.

3. Customize Check Box Control

By default, if you click on a checkbox, it will get filled with an “X.” You can keep this behavior as it is, but if you wish to choose a different symbol to fill the checkbox, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the checkbox that you added to your document to select it.
Microsoft Word Clickable Checkbox Added
  1. Click on the “Properties” option in the Controls section under the Developer tab.
Microsoft Word Checkbox Properties
  1. In the Content Control Properties window, click on the “Change” button next to “Checked symbol” under Check Box Properties.
Microsoft Word Checkbox Symbol Change
  1. Choose the desired symbol from the list. If you want to set a checkmark inside a box, search for character code 82 in Wingdings 2 in the Symbol window, select it, then click “OK” to save the changes.
Microsoft Word Checkbox Symbol New

Tip: Working on a document late at night? Be sure to enable dark mode in Word.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Developer tab in Word do?

The Developer tab in Word gives a user access to additional controls and functions like visual basic, macros, text boxes, date picker control, the ability to group items, document templates, and much more.

How do I create a checklist in Word 2010?

You can create a checklist in all Word versions, including Word 2010, using bullet points and Developer options as described above.

Can I create a checklist in Google Docs?

Yes. In your Google Docs document, click on the Checklists icon in the top bar to add a checkbox.

Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq.

Mehvish Mushtaq
Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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