A drop-down list in a Microsoft Word document lets people select from a predefined items list. Adding this drop-down list is fairly easy, and we’ll show you how to do it.
First, Enable the Developer Menu
The option to add a drop-down list is located in Word’s Developer menu. This menu is hidden by default, so you’ll have to enable it before you can add a list.
Start by opening Word on your Windows or Mac computer. At the lower left of the window, select “Options.” If you already have a document open, select the File menu to reveal the “Options” command.
In the “Word Options” window that opens, on the left sidebar, select “Customize Ribbon.”
In the “Customize Ribbon” pane on the right side of the screen, scroll down the list and enable the “Developer” option.
Click “OK” at the bottom of the window to close it.
Add a Drop-Down List to a Word Document
After adding the Developer menu, you’re now ready to add a drop-down list to your Word document. To start, either open an existing Word document or create a new document.
In your document, place your insertion point where you want to add the drop-down list.
Next, select the “Developer” menu.
On the “Developer” menu, in the “Controls” group, click the “Drop-Down List Content Control” icon (It looks like an actual drop-down icon.).
You now have a drop-down list in your document.
Configure Your New Drop-Down List
This drop-down list is not configured and is currently empty. To configure it and add items to it, click the drop-down list to select it. Return to the Developer menu and, in the “Controls” group, click “Properties.”
Word will open the “Content Control Properties” window. Start by entering a title for your list. This will appear at the top of your drop-down list.
Note: Note: Word automatically fills in the “Tag” field to match the Title field. The tag for a content control object is used mostly by other programs to identify content control data in a document’s XML structure. So, unless you’re building some document automation and specifically need to set the tag, just ignore it.
Use the “Color” option to select a color scheme for your drop-down list.
If you want to prevent people from editing your drop-down list, activate the “Content control cannot be deleted” option. Note, though, that unless you lock your document, anyone can go and disable this option.
You’ll now add items to your drop-down list. To add your first item, under the “Drop-Down List Properties” section on the current window, click the “Add” button.
On the “Add Choice” window, type a new item name into the “Display Name” field. The “Value” field automatically fills itself with the data from the first field, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Then, click “OK” to add your item. Repeat this process for each item that you want to add to your drop-down list.
After you have some items added, you can change their order. To change an item’s position in the list, select that item, and then click either “Move Up” or “Move Down” on the right.
Finally, click “OK” to save your changes.
Your drop-down list will now display your added items. Click it to test it for yourself.
Delete a Drop-Down List from Microsoft Word
To remove this drop-down list from your document, select the list. Then, from the “Controls” section at the top, click “Properties.” Disable the “Content control cannot be deleted” option, and then click “OK” at the bottom.
Right-click the drop-down list in your document and select “Remove Content Control.” The list will now be removed.
And that’s how you give people predefined options to select from in your Word documents!
Did you know that you can add checkboxes to your Word documents, too? This is yet another way to let people select items in your documents.
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