How to Insert a Check Box in Outlook

by Kathryn Hatashita-Lee
Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Microsoft Outlook provides bullet symbols, including a check-box symbol, to format your to-do list. These check boxes can appear at the beginning of each paragraph, or start a new list of items and procedures. Outlook bullet symbols include white rectangles and squares with black borders that stand out on the screen or in a printout. Each bulleted line or item will indent from the left margin. A printout becomes a checklist that you and your colleagues can tick as your team completes each task.

Step 1

Click "Calendar" on the lower navigation bar, and then click the "Home" tab on the command ribbon.

Step 2

Click "New Items" in the New group, and then select "Appointment," "Contact," "E-Mail Message," "Meeting" or "Task" to open a window.

Step 3

Enter your text in the body of the window for your appointment, contact, message, meeting or task. For example, the Contact window includes the Notes section for your entries that are separate from the data fields.

Step 4

Click and drag to select and highlight the lines where you want to insert the check-box bullets. You can also click to insert the cursor to start a new bulleted list.

Click the "Format Text" tab on the ribbon, click the "Bullets" arrow button, and then select the preferred check box style from the Bullet Library section to insert this symbol. For example, select "White Rectangle." The bulleted entries will indent from the left margin. Press "Ctrl-S" to save this updated data.


  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • The selected bullet style saves in the Recently Used Bullets section on the Bullets list for quick access the next time you want to insert this same style.
  • To remove the check box from a line, insert the cursor to the left of the first word on that line, and then press "Backspace." To align this entry back to the left margin, press "Backspace" a second time.
  • If the Bullet Library does not display the bullet style you want, you can insert a new style from a much larger Symbols chart. Click the "Format Text" tab on the ribbon, click the "Bullets" arrow button, and then select "Define New Bullet" on the drop-down list to open the window. Click "Symbol" in the Bullet Character section to open the chart, and then select a preferred check box. For example, click "Normal Text" in the Font drop-down list, click "Geometric Shapes" in the Subset drop-down list and then select the "White Square" button in the chart. Click "OK" to close the Symbol window, and then click "OK" to close the Define New Bullet window. The white square bullet will display in the window.
  • Press "Ctrl-Shift-L" one key at a time as a keyboard shortcut to insert a bullet in the window. To change the style, click the "Message" tab on the ribbon, click the "Bullets" arrow, and select the preferred button to update the bullet. This saved style will display the next time you press "Ctrl-Shift-L" to insert the check box.
  • If the Outlook window does not show the command ribbon and tabs, click in the body of the window, click the "Ribbon Display Options" button in the upper right corner, and then select "Show Tabs and Commands" to restore the command ribbon and the tabs.


Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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