How to insert Checkbox In Google Docs

When you have items in a list that needs to be crossed off, checkboxes can come in handy. However, you might wonder how to insert checkboxes in Google Docs.

5 methods to insert a checkbox in Google Docs

  • Using the checklist option from the toolbar
  • Using the checklist option from the main menu bar
  • Using a keyboard shortcut
  • Using Special characters
  • Using Substitutions

Method 1: Using the checklist option from the toolbar

This is one of the easiest methods to create active and interactive checkboxes.

Step 1: Click on the Checklist icon from the toolbar.

In the toolbar, click the Checklist option to create a checkbox.

Step 2: Type your list item.

After the checkbox is created, place the cursor near the checkbox. Start typing your first item.

Step 3: Press Enter.

Now press Enter after the first list item. This would create another checkbox for you to type your next item. You can repeat this depending on the number of list items.

Step 4: Check off an item.

Click on the checkbox to cross off an item off the list.

Method 2: Using the checklist option from the main menu bar

In this method, you create the same checkbox using the main menu bar.

Step 1: Tap on Format in the main menu bar.

In the main menu, click on Format. This would give you a dropdown of the available formatting options.

Step 2: Click on Checklist.

From the Format dropdown, click on Bullets & numbering. Now, select Checklist to create a checkbox.

Step 3: Typing your list items and crossing some off.

Once you create a checkbox, type the list item and press Enter to create another checkbox. Repeat this step based on the number of list items you require.

You can cross off an item by clicking the checkbox.

Method 3: Using a keyboard shortcut

This is the quickest method. It shows how handy a keyboard shortcut can be. You can press the keyboard shortcut and follow Step 3 from the previous method. Alternatively, you can also type the list items and create checkboxes for them.

Step 1: Enter your list items on separate lines.

Type your list items one by one on separate lines.

Step 2: Highlight the text.

You can highlight a text by left-clicking and dragging the cursor across the text. Alternatively, you can use Shift and arrow keys to select a text. Based on which direction you want to select a text, use the left or right arrow key.

Step 3: Press the keyboard shortcut.

The keyboard shortcut to create a checkbox is Ctrl+Shift+9. Enter the shortcut to create checkboxes for all the list items highlighted.

You can follow Step 3 to add new list items and cross some off.

Method 4: Using Special characters

This method is quite a workaround compared to the Checklist option by Google Docs.

Step 1: Tap on Special characters.

From the main menu bar, select Insert. Now, tap on Special characters. This should open a dialog box of special characters.

Step 2: Use a box from Miscellaneous.

Click the third dropdown.

Select Miscellaneous from the options.

In the first line, you can find a BALLOT BOX. You can use this as a checkbox.

You can scroll down to find shaded boxes. You can use these as checkboxes as well. Choose a checkbox based on your preference.

Tap on the character after you’ve finalized one. This would insert the box into your doc. However, this is not interactive like the previous ones.

Step 3: Copy and paste the character.

You need to copy the character and paste it as you add your list items. Select the box, right-click and select Copy. Alternatively, you can select the box and press Ctrl + C.

Now paste the character and add your list items.

Step 4: Crossing off items from the list.

You can only replace the box with a tick. You can do this by selecting another special character. Select the box.

Click on Insert and select Special characters. Go to Miscellaneous. This is similar to Step 2. Now, instead of a box, select the CHECK MARK.

Once, you select the character, you can see the box replaced by the check mark.

Method 5: Using Substitutions

If a checkbox is something that you use frequently, you can add it to the Substitutions section.

Step 1: Add the character and assign a keyword.

Insert the checkbox and the check mark by following Step 2 in the previous method.

Now let’s assign a key to it. When we type the key, it automatically becomes the special character assigned to it. For instance, let the box be (ch) and let the check mark or tick be (ti).

Step 2: Copy a character.

Copy a character to paste it into the Substitutions dialog box. Select the character. Right-click on the character and click Copy or press Ctrl + C.

Step 3: Open Substitutions.

In the main menu bar, tap on Tools. Select Preferences.

Tap on the Substitutions tab.

Under the Replace column, type the keyword you decided to assign. In the With column, paste the character.

Similarly, add the checkbox too.

Now, click the blue OK button at the bottom.

Step 4: Check if it works.

Enter the keyword and see if the special character is substituted. Type the key assigned.

Press Enter or the space bar.

You can now see that the key has been changed to the special character. You can now just use the key instead of inserting a special character each time or copy-pasting them.

Wrapping up

No more struggling to insert checkboxes into your Google Docs. Here are five quick and easy ways to insert checkboxes in Google Docs.

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