How to make a Checklist in Word

With Microsoft Office applications, you can create a simple To Do list or make a checklist in Microsoft Word and check off items electronically. The underlying trick for doing so is very simple and takes not more than few minutes. The result looks something like the illustration below.

make a Checklist in Word 2013

Having said that, if you just need a checklist that you print, you can make a list where each item has a box that you check off on paper.

Make a checklist in Word

You can use boxes that you can check off in Word. For doing so, you first have to insert the check box form field into your document. Here’s how you do it!

Open a Word document, go to the “Insert” tab and choose “Symbol”

Next, from the symbol drop down list choose “More symbols”.


Then, the “Symbol” window shows up. Here you can select the check box and click on the “Insert” button. This ends part 1. I am saying so because in this part you cannot check the box. You need to do a bit of more manual work. That completes the second part.

Check box-3

Activate the Developer tab

Developer tab in the ‘Ribbon menu’ of Word supplies the option for checking the box in Word. Use the following procedure for it.

Assuming you have the Word file opened, right-click anywhere on the Ribbon and choose the “Customize Ribbon” option.

Customize the ribbon

Next, select the “Developer” option within the “Customize the Ribbon” drop-down list and hit “OK”.

Developer tab-5

You should find the Developer tab added to the ribbon. Click on the “Developer” tab and use a customized bulleted list or a content control to insert checkboxes into a Word document.

Developer tab -6

Double click against any to-do/don’t-dos, followed by a single left-click to check the box.

Check box-7

That’s it!

Please note, that if you cannot check off an item electronically, it might be formatted for printing only or the document might be locked.

See this post if you would like to know how to create a Checklist in Excel.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.


  1. Tim

    All you need is step 2. Step 1 is only a symbol, never ‘checkable’.

  2. You only need the Developer tab, and then click the checkmark box to add an interactive checkmark(s) or other interactive form elements. No need to use symbols.

    Anyway, It would be easier to use OneNote, and it’s free across all devices, where Word isn’t.

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