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Printing a checklist so that you can mark completed items is fine. But if you prefer a digital method, want to include checklists in your documents, and even share them with others, Google Docs has you covered.

With a recent Google Docs update, you can now create and mark off your list items with a built-in checklist tool. This means no more using squares instead of bullets, no more printing, and no more extra steps when you want a checklist in Google Docs.

Create a Checklist in Google Docs

The checklist feature in Google Docs works just like the other list options. You can start off your list from scratch or convert an existing list of items or text to a checklist. Currently, the checklist feature is only available in Google Docs online.

Start a New Checklist

When you have a list of items in mind, you can start typing them in after clicking the Checklist button in the toolbar.

Click Checklist in the Google Docs toolbar

Enter your first item next to the checkbox, hit Enter or Return, and then type your next item. Again, this works just like a numbered or bulleted list in Google Docs.

Type your first checklist item

Convert an Existing List or Text

If you already have a list of items in your document, you can convert it to a checklist easily. And it doesn’t matter if the text is formatted as a different type of list or not.


Select the items that you want to convert to a checklist and then click the Checklist button in the toolbar.

Select the text and click Checklist

Your items are instantly transformed into a checklist.

Converted checklist in Google Docs

Convert a Single List Item

You might have a list that you want to keep numbered or bulleted, but you want to make just one of those items a checklist item.

Click the numbers or bullets in your existing list. This will select them all.

Select the list bullets

Then, click only the number or bullet for the item that you want to convert. This will select only that one.

Select the single bullet

Right-click and choose the checkbox from the shortcut menu.

Right-click and pick the checkbox

And that’s all there is to converting a single list item to a checklist item!

Single converted checklist item

Create a Multilevel Checklist

Many times, tasks on our lists include subtasks. You’ll be happy to hear that this is just as easy with the Google Docs checklist feature.


You can simply indent to create a multilevel list or just one subtask. Move your cursor to the checklist item that you want to indent. Then, either press Tab or click “Increase Indent” in the toolbar.

Multilevel checklist in Google Docs

Note: If you create a multilevel checklist, you’ll still need to check the box to mark off the parent item when the child items are complete.

Check Off Your List Items

As you would expect, the checklist feature in Google Docs works simply. Check a box to mark the item off your list. Also, you can uncheck a box to mark a completed item incomplete again if needed.

Google Docs checklist

Google plans to upgrade the Docs checklist feature so that you can assign list items to others and have them display in Google Tasks. Be sure to check back with How-To Geek for this future feature!

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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