Microsoft Word: Developing checklists in Word

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. I've developed various forms, surveys, and checklists in Word that we've used for years, and they work well. However, I'm drowning in paper. What would be the easiest way to convert these forms, surveys, and checklists to a paperless environment?

A. You can convert your Word forms, surveys, and checklists to interactive media simply by inserting some clickable check boxes. To do this in Word 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007, first activate the Developer tab by selecting File, Options, Customize Ribbon, and click the check box labeled Developer under the Main Tabs section. Then in Word, position your cursor where you want a clickable check box to appear, and from the Developer tab click the Check Box Content Control (in the Controls group) to insert a clickable check box in your document, as pictured below.

Thereafter, recipients can easily complete any forms, surveys, and checklists by selecting check boxes with their mouse clicks, saving the documents, and returning them to you as electronic attachments.

Of course, these Word-based forms don't produce tabulated results, so you would still need to tabulate them by hand. To learn more about survey software solutions that will tabulate your results automatically, continue reading the "Survey Software" topic.

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About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to jofatech@aicpa.org. We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

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