Checklists have more uses than you can imagine. I use the one right in front of me to check off items that I should go over while editing a blog post before I hit the publish button. To-do tasks and getting things done find their deliverance on a checklist. And I am pretty sure that a couple of months down the line, you will be making yet another checklist of your New Year resolutions.
There are thousand and one ways to create checklists including the manual approach. But why go completely manual when you have Microsoft Word sitting on your computer. It is a few minutes work to create a neat checklist in MS Word (I will be using MS Word 2010 here). The other advantage is that you can check and uncheck items on the checklist you create here. Then, you may want to create a printable sheet and put it up on the refrigerator door.
Creating a checklist to print is easy so let’s tackle that first:
Creating a printable checklist in Word
Step 1. Open up a new Word document and type your list of items.
Step 2. Select the entire list and create a bulleted list by going to Home – Paragraph – Bullets – Define New Bullet.
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Step 3. Click on Symbol and then browse through to use a font like Wingdings. The open box or a three-dimensional box should be perfect as you can see in the screenshot.
Step 4. Print the checklist.
Creating a Dynamic Checklist Which You Can Tick Off in Word
To create checkboxes which can be toggled with checkmarks you need to use the check box content control with your document.
Step 1. The check box content control can be inserted from the Developer tab which by default is not visible on the Ribbon. So, click on File –> Options –> Customize the Ribbon. Click on the Main tab. In the list, select the Developer check box, and then click OK.
Step 2. On the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click Check Box Content Control, and then press TAB.
Step 3. For each item on your list, type the item description and press Enter.
Step 4. If you want to use a check mark symbol instead of the default X, select the Check Box Content Control – Properties. Then select the Change button next to Checked symbol. You can then choose a new symbol. The new symbol will replace both the box and the X.
Step 5. You can choose to refine your layout by adding Indents and Spacing from the option in the Paragraphs group of the Home tab.
Step 6. As a final step, you now need to lock the text and the check boxes together so that they are one single group.
Step 7. Head to the Home tab. In the Editing group, click Select, and then click Select All to select all that’s on your list.
Step 8. Back in the Developer tab, in the Controls group, click on Group, and then click Group again.
This is how it all comes together:
You can now use this self-created checkbox list to furnish a list of tasks or a control list. Do you think this ranks as a good MS Word productivity tip?