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How to Add a Checkmark in a PDF

June 28, 2022
Last Updated
March 15, 2024
4 min read
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Checkmarks are one of the most common types of PDF annotations that are used.

Checkmarks have such a wide range of uses and meanings, depending on the context of the document, who’s creating the checkmark, and who’s receiving the document. 

From correct answer markings, letting someone know that a task was completed, or improving the efficiency of internal communication by using check marks as easily recognizable prompts and comments. They can be used as signs of approval, correct answers, status, etc. The options are endless.

We’ll show you the best ways to add checkmarks to PDFs. Including free methods, and the best PDF tools for adding checkmarks. 

Does Your PDF Have Fillable Form Fields (Clickable Checkboxes)? 

If your PDF document has fillable form fields (meaning that the PDF has fields where you’re prompted and able to type and fill in the form), and the form fields are checkboxes, then good news! You can already add checkmarks simply by clicking on them. 

Not able to click the checkboxes on your PDF?

Don’t worry, we’ll show you other ways to add a checkmark in a PDF. 

How to Draw a Checkmark in a PDF

One easy way to add checkmarks to PDFs is by drawing them! For Microsoft Windows users, you already have a built-in tool to draw on PDF documents: Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge 

Microsoft Edge is the default PDF Viewer that comes with your Windows PC. One of the handy features of Edge is the ability to draw on PDFs. To draw a checkmark in a PDF with Microsoft Edge:

1. Open the PDF document in Edge. 

2. Press the Draw button. (press the down caret to change the color and thickness of your check mark before drawing it).

Draw button highlighted in Microsoft Edge.

3. Use the mouse to click and draw checkmarks wherever you want! 

Red checkmark next to Pencil icon, in Microsoft Edge.

4. Save the changes to your PDF. 

Save icon highlighted in Microsoft Edge.

PDF Pro 

PDF Pro makes it easy to draw and add shapes to PDFs, including checkmarks!

Try PDF Pro for free today

To draw a checkmark with PDF Pro: 

1. Open the PDF in PDF Pro. 

2. Press the Pencil tool. (you can change the color and thickness of the checkmark before drawing it). 

Pencil tool button highlighted in PDF Pro.

3. Use your mouse to click and draw checkmarks wherever you want! 

A red checkmark drawn with the pencil tool is highlighted in PDF Pro.

4. Save the changes to your PDF. 

Save icon highlighted in PDF Pro. An orange arrow is pointing to the icon.

How to Add a Checkmark in a PDF with a PDF Editor

There are multiple PDF editors available to help you add checkmarks and other symbols to your PDF documents.

PDF Pro (Recommended) 

This is the easiest way to add checkmarks in PDFs. Add clickable checkboxes that you (and anyone) can click and checkmark on almost any device! 

1. Open the PDF in PDF Pro. 

2. Press the Forms tab.

Forms tab highlighted in PDF Pro.

3. Press the Check box button. 

Check box button is highlighted in PDF Pro.

4. Using your mouse. Click-and-drag to determine the size and location of the checkbox. (double click the check box to open advanced options for your check boxes). 

A dotted square and mouse cursor are highlighted in PDF Pro.

5. Press the [esc] key once you are done adding check boxes. 

6. Click a check box to checkmark to it. 

Checkbox with a check mark in it, in PDF Pro.

7. Save the changes to your PDF. 

Save button highlighted in PDF Pro. An orange button is pointing to the button.

Adobe Acrobat DC 

Please note that you cannot add clickable check marks to PDFs with Adobe Reader. To add clickable check marks with Adobe, you’ll need to pay for their premium version of Adobe Acrobat DC, which can go up to up to $179 US. 

1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC. 

2. Press the Comment button (on the right-hand side).

3. Press the Add stamp button in the toolbar. 

4. Sign Here.

5. Select the checkmark 

6. Fill in the Identity Setup dialog box (if necessary). 

7. Click your mouse cursor on the location you want to add the check mark. (click-and-drag to resize the checkmark).

8. Repeat steps as necessary until satisfied. 

9. Save the changes to the PDF document. 

How to Add a Checkmark in a PDF for FREE

There are a few free methods, including online PDF editors, and online collaboration tools like Google Docs. 

We’ll show you how to add a checkmark in Google Docs, since it doesn’t involve uploading and hosting your documents on cloud services (and thus is more secure since you’ll have control of your PDF document).

Google Docs

1. Upload the PDF document to Google Drive 

File upload option highlighted in Google Drive.

2. Open the PDF document in Google Docs. 

Open with Google Docs button.

3. Use your mouse to click the location of where you’d like to add the checkmark.

4. Press Insert

Insert tab highlighted in Google Docs.

5. Special Characters.

Special characters option highlighted from the Insert context menu.

6. Type “check” or draw a checkmark with your mouse to see all check marks that are available. 

Insert special characters dialog box with the Search field highlighted. In the search field is the word "check".

7. Click the checkmark you like, to add it to the document. 

Green box with a white check mark in it is highlighted in Google Docs.

8. Copy/Paste the check mark to add it to other locations on your document (if necessary). 

9. File 

File menu tab is highlighted in Google Docs.

10. Download.

Download option highlighted from the File tab dropdown.

12. As PDF (.pdf).

PDF Document is highlighted as the option from the Download button in Google Docs.

MS Word 

If you already have access to MS Word, then you can add checkmarks to documents for free directly in Word. 

1. Launch Microsoft Word. 

2. Open.

Open button with a red box around it in Word.

3. Browse.

Browse button highlighted in MS Word.

4. Find and Open the PDF document.

Open button is highlighted in the Open File dialog box in Word. A PDF is showing in the dialog box.

5. Ok

OK button highlighted in the MS Word dialog box for converting the PDF to Word format.

6. Insert tab. (Bonus tip: click the Draw tab instead, to draw checkmarks on the PDF. If you do this, skip to step 13).

Insert tab with a red box around it in Word.

7. Symbol button. 

The Symbol button is highlighted in the Insert tab, in MS Word.

8. More symbols

The More Symbols... button is highlighted from the Symbol's dropdown menu.

9. From the Font dropdown menu, select Wingdings

The Font field is highlighted; Wingdings is selected from the dropdown menu.

10. Scroll down until you find the check mark. 

11. Select the check mark, and press Insert

Check mark and Insert button is highlighted in the Symbol dialog box in Word.

12. You can now copy/paste and change the font size of the checkmark as you see fit. 

13. File

File menu button with a red box around it in MS Word.

14. Export.

Export button with a red box around it in MS Word.

15. Create PDF/XPS

Create PDF/XPS button highlighted in MS Word. A red arrow point to the button.

16. Name and Publish the new PDF document. 

Fine name field and the Publish button are highlighted within the Create PDF or XPS dialog box.


For Mac users, you have the option to use Preview, Mac’s built-in PDF tool, for all your check marking needs! 

1. Open the PDF in Preview. 

2. View menu.

3. Show Toolbar.

4. Click the Markup toolbar button.

Proofread, Edit, and Annotate Like a PDF Pro

When it comes to annotating and editing PDFs, adding checkmarks is just the beginning! PDF Pro can help you streamline your work on PDFs, including proofreading, editing, and marking up long PDF documents like assignments, ebooks, and more!

PDF Pro can help you:

Download PDF Pro for free for 15 days or Buy Now!

Digital Marketing SpecialistArron Staradub
Arron was a Digital Marketer at PDF Pro, where he wrote helpful and engaging articles for those that that used PDFs in their daily life.

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