Removing Check Boxes in Word

By Anni Martin

You can create electronic checkboxes and change them later in Word.
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You can create a checklist in a business document or template so users can electronically check off accomplishments or items still needed. These types of business documents in Microsoft Word 2010 are restricted so users can’t change text or formatting but are still able to check and uncheck items on the form. You need to use the Developer tab to create a checkable form in Word and restrict the document so the checkboxes work. You need to unprotect the document so you can make changes.

Removing Checkboxes in a Restricted Document

Open Word and the document with the checkbox you want to remove. If the document is based on a template, you will need to edit the template rather than the document.

Click the “Review” tab and then click “Restrict Editing” in the Protect group. The Restrict Formatting and Editing task pane appears.

Click the “Stop Protection” button. If the document is password protected, a Password dialog box appears. Type in the password and click “OK.” If you do not have the password, you cannot edit the document.

Highlight the checkbox to remove and press “Delete.” You will need to restrict the document again for the checkboxes to work.

Click the “Review “tab and then click “Restrict Editing.” Click the “Editing Restrictions” checkbox. Select “Filling in Forms” from the drop-down list so readers can check and uncheck the checkboxes in your document.

Click “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection” and you will be prompted to give the document an optional password.

Save the document.


To add checkboxes in Word, you need the Developer tab. To turn on the Developer tab, click “File” and then “Options.” Click “Customize Ribbon” and then click “Main Tabs” drop-down box. Click the “Developer” checkbox. Click “OK’ to add the Developer tab to the ribbon.

Bullets can also be checkboxes in Word documents. If your checkbox is part of the bulleted list, you can remove it by highlighting the list and clicking the “Home” tab. Click the “Bullet” button in the Paragraph group and your checkboxes will disappear so you can make any corrections to the text. To use the bullet checkboxes, highlight the list and click the “Home” tab. Click the “Down-arrow” on the “Bullet” button in the Paragraph group. Select your bullet type from the Bullet Library or you can create your own.


Information in this article applies to Excel 2010. It may differ slightly or significantly with other versions.

If you do decide to password protect the document, be certain to remember your password. Once you have restricted your form with a password in Word you can’t change or edit the form without it. If you share the password with others they can change their copy of your document without telling you.