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How to Create a Checklist in Microsoft Word

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Written by Sharyl Stockstill   

Checklists are great when you are trying to organize anything.  Microsoft Word allows you to create two different types of checklists.  By using the bullet function, you can change the bullet into a box that can be checked off when printed.

If you need to make an electronic form with a checklist, that is also easy to do using Microsoft Word. The electronic form has to be programmed and then locked so that anyone using the form will check the box rather than reformatting it.  It is relatively simple to do once you know the function is available.

Step 1

Open a Microsoft Word document and place your cursor in the appropriate position and click once.  You have to create a table with at least two columns.  One column will be for the checklist, the other column will have the text.

Step 2

Go to the “Insert tab” and click on "Table." A drop-down menu will appear and you can select the amount of checklist boxes you will need. Just click and drag to select the appropriate number of rows and columns.  If you need to add more later, just insert them into the column.  A simple checklist table would be two columns by four rows. If you select this, Word will insert the two columns by four rows into your document where you originally set the curser.

Step 3

Adjust the width of the columns. Carefully move your mouse over the center vertical line until it changes to the one that will allow you to drag the line towards the left side of the screen. Leave plenty of room for your checklist boxes and at the same time, you are creating more room for your text next to the boxes.  You can also change the size of the text column by dragging the right vertical line in the direction you need it to go to customize it.

Step 4

Highlight the column where you wish to place the checklist boxes. Click on the first box and drag your mouse down to highlight the column. Click on the "Home" tab in Microsoft Word. In the “Paragraph section”, click on the small arrow that is next to the bullet. Here you can select from several different styles of bullets, including a check box, like you would do for creating a print form. Select the check box and Word will insert them into the highlighted fields of your form.

Step 5

Finish typing your form by filling in the rest of the columns.

Step 6

Protect your form. When your form is completed and you are ready for someone to use the checklists electronically, select the "Review" tab and use the "Protect Document" option to lock everything in place. Under “Editing Restrictions”, check the box next to "Allow only this type of editing in the document". Use the drop down menu to select "Filling in Forms."

Under Start Enforcement, click "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection." Assign a password to the document so that only you can remove the protection.


To prepare a printed to-do checklist rather than a computer form, click on the arrow beside the bullets and you can select a box instead of a bullet. Every time you hit "enter," a new box will appear.


If you choose not to use a password, anyone can change your editing restrictions. 


Microsoft Office: Make a Checklist in Word


Gregmaxey.mvps.org: Add Toggle Objects to Office Documents


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