How to use check boxes in Word

Use check boxes in Microsoft Word on interactive forms or printable forms, or create an appealing visual with them. Interactive check boxes allow the user to electronically click off the desired box with an "X" mark by placing their pointer on the box and clicking. A selected check box indicates a decision made by user and is a useful element for online forms, web forms, tests or surveys and is easy to use and create. There are minor differences on how to insert interactive check boxes between Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010.

Use noninteractive check boxes for a presentation or printable document. You cannot check off these symbols, but you can use them to create a visual effect. Use these check boxes to create the appearance of a bulleted list or checklist showing tasks that need to be completed.

Open a new blank document. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button and "New" and "Blank Document." In Word 2010, click "File" and "New" and "Blank Document."

Access the developer tools. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button and "Word Options" and "Show Developer Tab in the Ribbon." In Word 2010, click "File" and then "Options" and "Customise Ribbon," and select the "Developer" button and click "OK."

Select the drop-down menu for "Legacy Tools," found on the developer tab under "Controls." Under "Legacy Forms," select the icon for "Check Box Form Field." A new check box will appear in your Word document.

Repeat Step 3 to insert additional check boxes to your document. You may also choose to copy and paste the already inserted check box. Format your check boxes as you would any other element in your Word document. You can double click the check box for further editing options.

Lock your document to make the check boxes usable. In Word 2007, from the "Developer" tab, select "Protect Document," or in Word 2010, select "Restrict Editing." Under option number 2, "Editing Restrictions," check this box and select "Filling in Forms" from the drop-down menu. Select the "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection" button for completion. You do not have to password protect your document.

Open a new blank document. In Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button and "New" and "Blank Document." In Word 2010, click "File" and "New" and "Blank Document."

Insert check box symbols into your document. In Word 2007 and 2010, go to the "Insert" tab, select the drop-down menu for "Symbol" and click "More Symbols." Select the "Wingdings" font, select the image for character code "254" and click "Insert." Your check box symbol will appear on your document.

Add check boxes in the same method or copy and paste the inserted check box. You can edit and format the check box symbol using the features on the "Home" tab.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word
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About the Author

Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.