How to add check boxes in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word logo alongside several colourful check boxes.
Credit: Word logo: Microsoft - Checkbox: IconsDB

Microsoft Word has always been a popular choice for writing documents, but it's a complicated software. If you're not sure where to find a certain feature, it doesn't hurt to get a nudge in the right direction.

If you're making a form or just want a checkbox to make your life more organised, this guide will explain how to add check boxes in Microsoft Word.

To become an expert in the software, you should use our other guides. We can help you use the Microsoft Copilot, add footnotes to your document, and use double spaces. Our How-To's page can help in all kinds of apps, too.

How to add check boxes in Microsoft Word

The first and fastest way to add a check box to your Word document is to click on the search bar at the top of the page. There, you can type 'check box' to reveal the 'Check Box Content Control' option. Click it, and you'll have a check box added to your document.

Adding more check boxes after your first is as simple as highlighting it like you'd highlight text. Copy it (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) the box wherever it's needed.

Check boxes can also be added another way, though it involves digging through several menus. Follow the numbered steps below or circled icons in the screenshots.

  1. Click 'File' in the top left to open a new menu.
  2. Click 'Options' to open another new menu.
  3. Choose 'Customize Ribbon' and scroll down to find 'Developer'
  4. Check the 'Developer' box, and click OK to find a new option in your ribbon.
  5. Click the check box icon in the new menu, below the 'Aa' icon.

It takes longer to set up, but this new developer menu will also let you add drop-down lists, user-filled text boxes, date pickers, and more. If you'd like to get rid of it, follow steps 1-3 and uncheck the 'Developer' box.

Microsoft Word screenshots showing the steps to add a check box.
click to enlarge
Credit: Kieron West // StealthOptional
Steps 2, 3, and 4.

Removing check boxes is as simple as right clicking them, selecting the 'Remove Content Control' option, and deleting the box with a backspace. You can also undo them by using CTRL + Z.

For more Microsoft Word guides, find out if the app can be used on a Chromebook. Elsewhere, we can help you speed up videos on Instagram and explain what, exactly, OLED is.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and How To page.