How to add radio buttons (option buttons) in MS Word


Radio button can be used in a Form to capture user’s feedback. Following is a simple example that shows the usage of a radio button also known as Option button.

radion button example

  1. On the Word Ribbon, under the tab Developer, within the group Controls, click the Legacy Tools icon. A drop-down list appears.
  2. From the drop-down list, under the section ActiveX Controls, click the icon Option Button (ActiveX Control). Word creates something like the following.

radio button

  1. By default, the radio button appears in Design Mode. Click the Design Mode option available within group Controls to switch to normal mode, so that the radio button becomes clickable.
  2. To change the caption of the radio button,
  3. Click the radio button and then click Design Mode from the Controls group.
  4. Right-click the radio button and click option Properties from the right-click menu.
  5. On the Properties sheet, under the tab Alphabetic, look for the row with the heading Caption. On the adjacent cell of Caption, double-click to delete the default caption i.e. OptionButton 1 and enter a new caption. Alternatively, you can delete the default caption to retain only radio button. Later, you can resize the button by dragging the resize handles.


The next challenge is to group the radio buttons under different sections.

This is important for each group of buttons to behave independently. Otherwise, all the buttons in the document would behave as one group (by default) and only one feedback could be captured.

For example, in the above example form, each question contains two radio buttons (Yes/No) to capture feedback. Each pair of buttons must be grouped to capture feedback for individual question.

To group radio buttons

    1. Switch to design mode by selecting the radio button and then clicking the Design Mode option from within the group Controls.
    2. Once you are in Design Mode, right-click the radio button and select option Properties from the right-click menu. The Properties sheet appears.
    3. On the Properties sheet, under the tab Alphabetic, look for the row with the heading GroupName. Click the adjacent cell to enter a group name.
    4. Now you need to keep the same group name for the rest of the radio buttons, which you want to keep as one group. You are done.

Note: Before you share a document containing Radio button or any other controls, you should to protect your document to prevent editing of the document. To know how to protect a document, read the following articles: