How to Add Content Control in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to add content control in Word, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a handy feature that lets you restrict editing or add placeholders in your document. By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to insert text boxes, drop-down lists, and date pickers, making your Word document more interactive and controlled.

How to Add Content Control in Word

In the following steps, we’ll walk you through adding content controls in Word to create interactive and restricted areas within your document.

Step 1: Open the Developer Tab

First, open your Word document and enable the Developer tab.

The Developer tab isn’t visible by default. To enable it, go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon, and then check the box next to Developer in the right-hand column. Click OK to save your changes.

Step 2: Locate the Controls Group

Next, go to the Developer tab and find the Controls group.

The Controls group contains various content controls like text boxes, drop-down lists, and date pickers. These tools will help you control what kind of input users can provide.

Step 3: Insert a Content Control

Now, choose a content control like a text box, and click to insert it into your document.

Clicking the Text Box control will place a text box in your document. You can drag it to where you want it and start customizing it according to your needs.

Step 4: Customize the Content Control

After inserting the control, right-click on it and select Properties to customize it.

In the Properties window, you can set a title, tag, and other features. For example, you can make the content control mandatory or choose to remove it after the content is edited.

Step 5: Protect the Document

Finally, protect your document to restrict editing to the content controls only.

Go to the Developer tab, click Restrict Editing, and then set the restrictions you want. You can allow only filling in forms or limit editing to certain parts of the document.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your Word document will now have controlled content areas that users can interact with while keeping the rest of the document unchanged.

Tips for Adding Content Control in Word

  • Save Your Work: Always save your document before adding content controls to avoid losing any data.
  • Use Descriptive Titles: Use clear titles for your content controls to make them user-friendly.
  • Test the Controls: Before finalizing your document, test all content controls to ensure they function as intended.
  • Keep It Simple: Don’t overload your document with too many controls; it can overwhelm users.
  • Provide Instructions: Add a brief guide or instructions for users on how to interact with the content controls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I unlock the Developer tab in Word?

Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon, and then check the Developer tab box.

Can I add multiple content controls in one document?

Yes, you can add as many content controls as needed in a single document.

What types of content controls can I use?

You can use text boxes, drop-down lists, date pickers, and more.

How do I remove a content control?

Right-click the content control and select Remove Content Control.

Can I protect only certain parts of my document?

Yes, you can protect specific parts while allowing edits to other sections.


  1. Step 1: Enable Developer tab.
  2. Step 2: Locate Controls group.
  3. Step 3: Insert content control.
  4. Step 4: Customize control.
  5. Step 5: Protect document.


Content control in Word is like giving your document a set of rules and boundaries. It ensures that whoever interacts with your document inputs information exactly where and how you want it. This feature is incredibly useful for creating forms, templates, and any document where you need to maintain a certain structure.

For further reading, Microsoft’s official documentation provides more detailed information and advanced tips. If you’re constantly working with forms or structured documents, mastering content control will save you time and reduce errors.