Clearing radio buttons in Word

Note to self.

When editing a Word document that has radio buttons in it — in my case, a checklist — I accidentally clicked on a button. But I want them all to be blank when I give the checklist to a user!

I have 3 buttons — Yes, No and na, and they are mutually exclusive, so I don’t want to use checkboxes.

But I find that once I have checked one radio button, I cannot easily undo it.

Screen shot showing the 'na' button checked.

I’ve checked the ‘na’ button and now I can check any one button but I want all to be blank.

It can be undone, and it’s actually not very difficult.

(1) Go to developer tab. Now, if the developer tab is not visible, go File → Options → Customize Ribbon and under Customize the Ribbon choose Main Tabs and then check Developer.

Screen shot showing the Word Options dialogue and within that the Customize Ribbon screen

Getting the Developer tab.

(2) On the Developer ribbon, choose Design Mode.

(3) Right-click on the troublesome button and choose Properties.

(4) Find Value and change it to False (just delete True and type False).

Screen shot showing the button's properties.

Change ‘True’ to ‘False’.

(5) Exit the Properties panel by clicking on the red X top-right. The button is reset. It will also reset if you hit Enter after typing False.

(6) Close Design Mode. You’ll see that the buttons still work as they did before.

Note: Sometimes you’ll get a very long list of properties and Value won’t be there; look at the top — have you actually clicked on the button? Beside (Name) it should say the button name, in this case, ‘OptionButton61543’. If it says something like ‘ThisDocument’, you’ve clicked on whitespace beside the button, not inside the button. Just try again! Maybe click elsewhere on the page and then go back to the button. Try clicking on the button then right-clicking, etc.


Clear for action.

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About Darren

I'm a scientist by training, based in Australia.

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