Make a checklist in Word


Keywords    check box; check box form field; check box list; check in box; check mark box; check off box; tick box


If you just need a checklist that you can print, you can make a list where each item has a check box that you can check off on paper. You can also create a list of check boxes and check off items electronically by opening the document in Word.

 Note    If you cannot check off an item electronically, it might be formatted for printing only or the document might be locked.

What do you want to do?


Make a checklist to print

If you just want to create a checklist with check boxes that you will check off on paper, you can create a list that uses a box symbol as a bullet. You can choose from a variety of box characters.

The way that you create the list depends on whether your document already contains bulleted lists with different kinds of bullets.

Create a bulleted list with custom bullets

  1. Type your list of items.
  2. Select the list.
  3. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the arrow next to Bullets.

Ribbon image

  1. Click Define New Bullet.
  2. Click Symbol.
  3. In the Font box, click a symbol font that is installed on your computer, such as Wingdings.
  4. Scroll through the list of available symbols, and then double-click the box symbol that you want to use, such as an open box (Open box ) or a three-dimensional box (3D box ).

Create a table to prevent altering the existing bullets

Step 1: Create a table

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click Table.

Ribbon image

  1. Click Insert Table.
  2. In the Number of columns box, enter 2.
  3. In the Number of rows box, enter the number of rows that you want. You need one row for each item in your list.
  4. Click OK.

Step 2: Insert the check boxes and text

  1. Click the top left cell.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol, and then click More Symbols.

Ribbon image

  1. Click the Symbols tab.
  2. In the Font box, click a symbol font that is installed on your computer, such as Wingdings.
  3. Scroll through the list of available symbols, and then double-click the box symbol that you want to use, such as an open box (Open box ) or a three-dimensional box (3-D box ).
  4. Click Close.
  5. Click the next cell where you want to insert a box, and then press CTRL+Y to insert another box.
  6. After you insert a box for each item that you want, click the top right cell and type the text for the first item. Repeat this step for each item in the list.

Step 3: Refine the layout

Although you are using the table to lay out the list, you probably want to adjust the spacing so that the column that contains the check boxes isn't too wide, and the text is lined up close to the check boxes. You probably don't want the border lines that Word usually includes with the table. To make these adjustments, do the following:

  1. Right-click the table, point to AutoFit, and then click AutoFit to Contents.
  2. Right-click the table, click Table Properties, and then click the Table tab.
  3. Click Options, and in the Left and Right boxes, enter a number that will provide a little bit of space between the check box and the text, such as .02 inches, and then click OK.
  4. On the Table tab, click Borders and Shading, and then click the Borders tab.
  5. Under Setting, click None, and then click OK.

 Note   After you remove the border lines, you may still see gray border lines. These are the table gridlines, and they do not show when the document is printed. If you don't want to see them at all, you can hide them by clicking View Gridlines in the Table group on the Layout tab under Table Tools.

Ribbon image

Top of Page Top of Page

Make a checklist that you can check off in Word

To use check boxes that you can check off in Word, you insert the check box form field into your document. This looks best if you use a table to align the check boxes with the text, so your first step is to create a table. After you create the table, you can insert the check boxes in one column and the text in the other column, and then you can refine the layout. To check off the items, you lock the form.

The result looks like the following illustration.

Example of list with check boxes

Step 1: Create a table

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click Table.

Ribbon image

  1. In the Number of columns box, enter 2.
  2. In the Number of rows box, enter the number of rows that you want. You need one row for each item in your list.

Don't worry about the size of the columns or the border lines in the table. You will fix those later.

Step 2: Insert the check boxes and text

To add the boxes that you will be able to check, you need to use the Developer tab.

Show the Developer tab

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then click Word Options.
  1. Click Popular.
  2. Select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box.

 Note   The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface.

Add the check boxes

  1. Click the top left cell in the table that you inserted.
  2. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click Legacy Tools.Button image
  1. Under Legacy Forms, click Check Box Form Field Button image.

 Note   If the check box has a gray background, click Legacy Tools in the Controls group, and then click Form Field Shading Button image to remove the gray shading.

  1. Click the next cell where you want to insert a check box, and then press CTRL+Y to insert another check box.
  2. After you insert a check box for each item that you want, click the top right cell and type the text for the first item. Repeat this step for each item in the list.

Step 3: Refine the layout

Although you are using the table to lay out the list, you probably want to adjust the spacing so that the column that contains the check boxes isn't too wide, and the text is lined up close to the check boxes. You probably don't want the border lines that Word usually includes with the table. To make these adjustments, do the following:

  1. Right-click the table, point to AutoFit, and then click AutoFit to Contents.
  2. Right-click the table, click Table Properties, and then click the Table tab.
  3. Click Options, and in the Left and Right boxes, enter a number that will provide a little bit of space between the check box and the text, such as .02 inches, and then click OK.
  4. On the Table tab, click Borders and Shading, and then click the Borders tab.
  5. Under Setting, click None, and then click OK.

 Note   After you remove the border lines, you may still see gray lines. These are the table gridlines, and they do not show when the document is printed. To hide the table gridlines on the screen, click the Layout tab under Table Tools, and in the Table group, click View Gridlines.

Step 4: Lock the form

To check off the items by clicking in the check boxes, you need to lock the form. However, when the form is locked, you will not be able to make changes to the text or layout, so be sure to do this step last.

 Note   If you want to check the spelling in your list, you must run spell check on the document before you lock the form.

When you want to edit the document, you can easily unlock the form. Just remember to lock it again so that you will be able to click the check boxes.

Lock the form

  1. Make sure that you are not in design mode by clicking Design Mode in the Controls group on the Developer tab.

Ribbon image

  1. On the Developer tab, in the Protect group, click Protect Document, and then click Restrict Formatting and Editing.
  1. In the Protect Document task pane, under Editing restrictions, select the Allow only this type of editing in the document check box.
  2. In the list of editing restrictions, select Filling in forms.
  3. Under Start enforcement, click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
  4. To assign a password to the document so that only reviewers who know the password can remove the protection, type a password in the Enter new password (optional) box, and then confirm the password.

 Important   If you choose not to use a password, all reviewers can change your editing restrictions.

Unlock the form

  1. On the Developer tab, in the Protect group, click Protect Document, and then click Restrict Formatting and Editing.
  1. In the Protect Document task pane, click Stop Protection.

 Note   If you used a password to add protection to the document, you need to type the password before you can stop the protection.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2007