How to insert a checkbox in Word (with steps and benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A checkbox is a small square box that's either checked or unchecked to indicate whether something is true or false. In Microsoft Word, users can utilise checkboxes and radio buttons to enable users to select multiple options from a list. Learning how to insert a checkbox in Word can allow you to create effective interactive forms and surveys. In this article, we look at six different methods of inserting a checkbox in a Word document, outline how you can change the appearance of this checkbox and review the main benefits of using them.

How to insert a checkbox in Word

Knowing how to insert a checkbox in Word is a useful tool for any employee that handles documents. Inserting checkboxes into your document is an easy and useful way of tracking what tasks you've completed and what's left to do. There are six primary methods that you can use to insert these checkboxes, including:

1. Using the 'Symbols' dialogue box

One of the simplest ways of inserting a checkbox into Word is to use the 'Symbols' dialogue box. To use this method, click the 'Insert' tab. Here, find the 'Symbols' group and click it. When the 'Symbols' dialogue box opens, click the 'Wingdings' option under the 'Symbols' tab on the font list. Scroll to the bottom of the list of symbols and click the checkmark character. Now, you can click 'Insert' and close the 'Symbols' dialogue box. You can then add text to go alongside the checkbox.

2. Using the 'Wingdings' font

If you want to add a checkbox to your Word document, you can do so by using the 'Wingdings' font. This font contains a variety of symbols, including a checkmark symbol that you can use as a checkbox. To use this method, position the cursor where you want to insert the checkbox. Now, select the 'Wingdings' font from the 'Font' drop-down list in the 'Home' tab. Then, scroll through the symbols until you find the one that looks like a checkmark. Next, click on it to insert it into your document.

To change the appearance of the checkbox, you can select it and use the 'Font colour' and 'Highlight' options in the 'Home' tab to change its colour. You can also use the 'Font' dialog box to make additional changes to the checkbox, such as changing the font size or making it bold or italic. This can help you to label different parts of your Word document to make it clearer or more distinctive if required.

Related: What is a dialog box? A beginner guide in programming

3. Using 'Wingdings 2'

Inserting a checkbox into your Word document can be a great way to keep track of important information. The 'Wingdings 2' font makes this easy to do. To use this method, open your Word document and position your cursor where you want to insert the checkbox. Then, type the following code 'Alt+0252' and press 'Enter'. This inserts the checkbox into your document. Using this method allows you to change the box from unchecked to checked by simply clicking on it with your mouse, meaning that it's an ideal method to use when sending forms to others for them to complete.

4. Using a content control box

Content-control boxes are another way in which you can insert a checkbox in Word. Some professionals find this method preferable because it allows you to easily add, edit or delete content without it affecting the rest of your document. Additionally, they're ideal for creating fillable forms or checklist templates. To insert a checkbox in Word using this method, click on the 'Insert' tab. Then, click the 'Content controls' button and select the 'Check box' option. Now, you can click where you want to insert the checkbox and start typing next to it to clearly label it.

5. Using character code

The character code for a checkmark is 'U+2611'. To insert it, just type that code into your document where you want the checkbox to appear. This method is popular with those who use checkboxes as a way of representing information frequently, as this is a quick and easy shortcut to use that doesn't require sifting through the 'Wingdings' symbols that are available on Word.

6. Inserting a checkbox in Word for printed documents

If you're creating a document in Microsoft Word that you plan to print, you can insert checkboxes into the document to mark off items or tasks. This can be helpful if you're making a checklist or to-do list, for example. To start this process, open up the 'Bullets' drop-down menu by clicking on the symbol that looks like a bullet point, which is usually located near the top of the screen. Then, select the 'Define new bullet' option from the menu.

In the window that pops up, scroll down until you find the 'Wingdings 2' font. Then, select this font and scroll down until you find the checkbox symbol, which looks like a square with a checkmark in the middle. Click on this symbol and click 'Insert'. Finally, click 'Close' to close the window. Now, when you type your list, each item has a checkbox next to it that you can check off when required. Keep in mind that these checkboxes won't be interactive, they're just for show. If you want to create an interactive checklist, consider using a different method.

Related: 8 to-do list apps to use daily (plus features and benefits)

Can you change the appearance of your checkbox?

It's relatively straightforward to change the appearance of your checkbox in Word. To do this, simply click on the checkbox and click on the 'Format' tab. From there, you can select the colour and style of your checkbox. For example, you may decide to change the colour of your checkbox to green or blue to match your employer's branding. You may also want to change the style of your checkbox to make it more round or rectangular. Consider experimenting with different options until you find the desired style for your document.

Benefits of inserting a checkbox in Word

When you're working on a document in Microsoft Word, sometimes it's helpful to insert a checkbox. This can be useful if you're creating a list of items to track or if you're required to mark something off as complete. Here are some benefits of using checkboxes in Word:

Enables progression tracking on a project

When you're working on a project, it's useful to be able to track your progress. Doing so allows you to stay up-to-date on the tasks you've completed and what task is the next one to finish. Inserting a checkbox into your Word document allows you to keep track of both of these things. This has the added benefit of providing employees with the necessary motivation to complete a project. The reason for this is that some individuals enjoy checking off items as they complete them.

Related: How to be self-motivated (with steps, tips and an example)

Makes a document look more organised

When you're working on a document in Microsoft Word, adding a checkbox can give it a more professional appearance and can help you to keep track of important items. You can also use checkboxes to create interactive surveys. This allows users to easily select or deselect options, which can decrease the amount of time it takes for users to complete these forms.

Related: How to use survey design (with steps and best practices)

Ensures accuracy

Checkboxes are a great way to ensure accuracy in your Word document. By inserting a checkbox, you can clearly outline what items on your list you've completed and which ones still need work. Then, when you share this document with others, they can clearly see what tasks need completing. Checkboxes can therefore be a simple and powerful tool that ensures accuracy and clarity within your documents.

Boosts interactivity

When you're creating a document in Microsoft Word, sometimes you may want to add an element of interactivity to increase participation and interest. In these scenarios, checkboxes are beneficial because they allow you to create a list of items that can be easily checked off, which can help members of a team to feel more involved when recording their contributions to a project. Creating checkboxes can also help create simple surveys or polls, which can help to break up large bodies of text to make a document more visually appealing.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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