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PDF Checkmarks Guide: 5 Different Ways To Add Checkmarks

December 31, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

Are you looking to create PDF documents requiring the recipients to give opinions or answer multiple-choice questions? If so, you will need to add checkmark boxes to your PDFs.

Checkmark boxes are an interactive feature on PDF files that allow your readers to indicate their affirmative or negative opinions on the document. Also known as checkboxes, selection boxes or tick boxes, you can use these boxes to provide your readers with more than one option to choose from regarding a specific detail or question in your PDF document.

In today’s guide, we will discuss how you can add checkmark boxes to your PDF’s by answering the following questions:

  • What are the different types of checkmark boxes on PDF?
  • Which PDF editors can I use to add checkmark boxes to PDFs?
  • How to Add Checkmark Boxes To PDFs Using Adobe Acrobat:
  • Can I Add Checkmark Boxes To PDFs With Google Docs?
  • Can I Add Checkmark Boxes To PDFs Using PDF Studio For Mac?
  • Can I Add Checkmark Boxes To A Word Document And Save It As A PDF Without Losing The Formatting?
  • How To Add Printable Checkmark Boxes To A Word Document Before Saving It As A PDF Document:
  • How To Add An Interactive Checkmark Box To A Word Document Before Saving It As A PDF

What Are The Different Types Of Checkmark Boxes On PDF Forms?

The Portable Document Format allows you to create both printable and interactive or clickable checkmark boxes on your PDFs. 

Plain or printable checkmark boxes are ideal for PDF documents slated for use in printed form. A good example of a printed PDF format document with checkmark boxes is an exam paper, where the reader can select an answer by selecting its corresponding checkbox.

Fillable or clickable checkmark boxes are used in PDF documents requiring the reader to edit or input their opinion on a digital copy of the file. The clickable checkmark box allows the reader to click on it to affirm its corresponding answer.

In an interactive PDF document, a checkmark appears on the checkmark box when you click on it once to indicate approval or an affirmative response to the corresponding choice or answer. You can click on the checkmark box again to remove the checkmark, indicating a negative response to the corresponding answer or opinion.

Which PDF Editors Can I Use To Add Checkmark Boxes To My PDFs?

There are many PDF editors that you can use that allow you to add checkmark boxes to your PDFs. Your choice of program to use depends largely on the availability, compatibility with your computing device, and how easy it is for you to use the editor.

The best choice of PDF editor is compatible with the operating system of your device. Adobe Acrobat, Google Docs, and PDF Studio are a few examples of PDF editors that are easy to use and compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

You can also choose to create or save an existing Word document in PDF form to secure the document for sharing with other readers. As such, you could consider formatting the document in Word app before saving it in PDF format as it cannot be edited further or the checkmark boxes activated once it is saved as PDF.

Below, we'll cover how to add checkmark boxes to your PDF forms with the following tools:

  • Adobe Acrobat.
  • Google Docs.
  • PDF Studio for Mac.
  • MS Word.

Let's take a look.

How to Add Checkmark Boxes To PDFs Using Adobe Acrobat:

  • Open the PDF file you wish to add checkmark boxes using Adobe Acrobat.
  • Click on the Forms menu and select the Add or Edit Fields option.
  • Click on the Add New Field to select the Show Toolbar option.
adobe acrobat toolbox
  • On the Forms Toolbar, click on the Checkbox icon ✔️
  • Point your crosshair cursor to where you want to place a checkmark box on your document.
  • Drag your mouse to draw your checkmark box to your desired size and release to insert it on the document.

To add interactive or clickable checkmark boxes to your PDFs using Adobe Acrobat:

  • Open the PDF document you wish to add checkmark boxes with Adobe Acrobat.
  • On the top right side of your screen, select the Tools option.
  • In the screen that appears, select the Prepare Form option.
adobe prepare form tools
  • Point your cursor at the location you want to place your checkmark box.
  • Drag your mouse to draw out the checkmark box to your desired size.
  • Release the mouse to insert the clickable checkmark box on your PDF document.

Can I Add Checkmark Boxes To PDFs With Google Docs?

Google Docs is another platform that you can use to add checkmark boxes to PDFs easily without breaking the bank. However, Google Docs only allows you to add checkmark boxes to PDFs as special characters for printing only and not for onscreen engagement with your readers.

How to add checkmark boxes to PDFs using Google Docs:

  • Open Google Docs on your device and log in using your Google account.
  • Once you open Google Docs, select the file icon on the right middle section of your screen to upload your existing PDF file.
  • When the document opens on your browser, click on the Open with Google Docs option to open the file for editing.
  • On the Google Docs toolbar, click on the Insert option.
  • Select the Special Characters option on the pull-down menu that appears on the Insert option.
google doc insert character
  • Place your cursor on the search box in the Insert Special Characters pane and type Check on it to search for checkbox options.
google doc checkmark insert
  • On the left side of the pane, choose the style of a checkbox you wish to use on your PDF and click on it to add it to your PDF document.
  • You can resize or enhance your checkmark box by clicking on it, then selecting the Font Size option or other tools on the Google Docs toolbar to enhance its final look.

Can I Add Checkmark Boxes To PDFs Using PDF Studio For Mac?

PDF Studio is a PDF reading and editing software that allows Mac users to easily add checkmark boxes to PDFs. It also allows you to edit your checkbox to your desired style and is compatible with the Windows operating system.

PDF Studio complies fully with portable document format regulations specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It comes to you at a third of the price of Adobe Acrobat, making it a pocket-friendly choice for you.

To add checkmark boxes to PDFs using PDF Studio:

  • Launch PDF Studio on your device.
  • Open the PDF document you wish to add checkmark boxes to using PDF studio.
  • On the Menu bar on top of your screen, select the Form option.
  • On the pull-down menu that appears, choose the Create/Edit Form option.
pdfstudio checkmark insert
  • In the toolbar that appears, click on the Checkbox icon to insert a checkmark box in your PDF document.
  • To edit or enhance the properties of your checkbox, double click the checkbox to explore the various options available for editing. 

Can I Add Checkmark Boxes To A Word Document And Save It As A PDF Without Losing The Formatting?

Microsoft Word is a document-creating program that allows you to add checkmark boxes to your documents and save the formatted documents as PDF files easily. 

Saving a Word document in PDF format allows you to share the document with others in a readable and secure format. Your audience can read the document in the same format you created in Word, but they cannot edit it once you save it as a PDF document. As such, you can create a Word document with checkmark boxes and save it as a PDF for use in printed form.

You can also create a Word document to share and interact digitally with your readers in Word app before saving it as a PDF document. This document interactivity feature is only available in Word as a developer option and allows you to engage with your readers before saving the document in PDF format.

How To Add Printable Checkmark Boxes To A Word Document Before Saving It As A PDF Document

  • Go to the Word app and open your Word document.
  • Click on the Home menu at the top of your screen.
  • Click on the small arrow immediately next to the Bullet icon on the Home Menu.
  • Select the Define New Bullet option.
msword insert checkmark
  • On the options that appear on your screen, select Symbol.
  • Select the Checkbox option on the bottom line of the Symbol options that appear on your screen.
  • Click OK twice to insert a checkbox in your Word document.
  • Once you add the checkmark boxes to your Word document, you can now save it as a printable PDF document.

How To Add An Interactive Checkmark Box To A Word Document Before Saving It As A PDF

  • Open your Word document.
  • On the File menu, select Options on the left side of your screen.
  • On the left sidebar that appears, select Customize Ribbons.
  • Click the Main Tabs option on the Customize Ribbons menu.
  • Scroll down the list of options on the right side of your screen to select the Developer option and click OK.
interactive checkmark box in word
  • Place your cursor in the position you’d like to add a checkmark box on your document.
  • On the Developer toolbar, click on the Control option on the right side of your screen.
  • On the Control option, select the Check Box Content Control option.


  • An interactive checkmark box will appear on your Word document.
  • You can share this document in Word format with your readers to input their opinions before saving it in PDF format.

Adding checkmark boxes to your PDF documents makes your documents easy to interact with for both you and your readers. You can easily use available software and programs that allow you to add this interactive feature on printed or digital PDF documents without breaking the bank.

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