How to Add a Drop-Down Box to a Word Document

Written by katelyn kelley
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How to Add a Drop-Down Box to a Word Document
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A drop-down box in Microsoft Word is a form element known as a drop-down list that allows you to place a menu with pre-existing choices inside a Word document. A drop-down list form field is useful if you want your users to only enter information from a finite list you provide rather than allowing them to type freely on the form. The commands to add a drop-box to your Word document will differ slightly based on the version of Word you are using.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows
  • Microsoft Word 2008 for Macintosh

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word 2007 and create your document.

  2. 2

    Click the Developer tab at the top of the screen when you are ready to add the drop-down box to the document.

  3. 3

    Click the icon for the Drop-Down List field on the left side (bottom row) of the Controls panel on the Developer tab.

  4. 4

    Click "Properties" in the right column of the Controls panel to open the field options window.

  5. 5

    Click "Add" and type the text to include in the drop-down box, then click "OK" to add it to the drop-down list.

  6. 6

    Repeat step 5 for the number of items you want to have in your drop-down box.

  7. 7

    Click "OK" to exit the options window. Your drop-down box is now ready to use.

  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Word 2008 and create your document.

  2. 2

    Click "View," "Toolbars" and then the "Forms" sub-command to show the Forms toolbar on your screen.

  3. 3

    Click your cursor at the position in your document where you want to place the drop-down box.

  4. 4

    Click the icon on the Forms toolbar for the Drop-Down Form Field (third from the left).

  5. 5

    Double-click on the grey form field that now appears on your document to open the Drop-Down Form Field options window.

  6. 6

    Type the selections that will appear in your drop-down box and click "Add" after each entry. Click "OK" when you have added all your selections to the drop-down field.

  7. 7

    Click "Protect Form" on the Forms toolbar (far right) when you finish adding form elements to your document. This locks your changes and makes the form usable.

Tips and warnings

  • Older versions of Microsoft Word for Windows have form commands similar to Word 2008 for Macintosh.
  • To make your form more user-friendly in versions of Word other than 2007, add a selection to your drop-down box that gives an instruction such as "Please Select" or "Choose one" to help readers understand how to use the drop-down box on the form.
  • Word 2007 pre-adds the entry "Choose an item" to the top of your drop-down box field. Use the Properties command to change or remove this if it doesn't fit your needs.
  • In Word 2008, click "Protect Form" on the Forms toolbar a second time to unlock the form if you need to edit it.
  • The width of the drop-down box field is determined by the width of the selections, and the drop-down box will shrink or expand depending on the choice the user makes.

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