83

I am having trouble trying to create a simple to-do list in LaTex. Basically, what I want is a list with empty squares/boxes down the left side instead of bullets, numbers, letters, etc.

Here is what I have been playing around with:

%%To do list%%

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{enumerate}
    %\setenumerate[0]{label=(\square*)}
%\usepackage{enumitem}
    \usepackage[checklist]{enumitem}
\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\square{enumi}}

%\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\Box$}
%\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\star$}
\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{\theenumi}

\begin{document}
My todo list.\\
Immediate plan of action.\\

\let\oldenumerate\enumerate
\renewcommand{\enumerate}{
  \oldenumerate
  \setlength{\itemsep}{1pt}
  \setlength{\parskip}{0pt}
  \setlength{\parsep}{0pt}
}

    \begin{enumerate}
        \item List item 1 goes here.  
        \item List item 2 goes here. 
            \begin{enumerate}
                \item Sublist item 1 goes here. 
                \item Sublist item 2 goes here. 
            \end{enumerate}
        \item List item 3 goes here
        \item List item 4 goes here.
    \end{enumerate}
\end{document}

I have tried placing the new command after \begin{enumerate} in a few different ways, even tried to place it before and after \item, but nothing seems to work. I can get the list to enumerate with circles, stars, diamonds, etc. but for some reason, not the box/square. What am I doing wrong?

I have been using LaTex for nearly a decade now and know there are more-often-then not numerous ways to achieve the same goal with LaTex, yet, I cannot figure this one out.

4 Answers 4

71

I would use enumitem (and not intermix it with using the enumerate package):

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem,amssymb}
\newlist{todolist}{itemize}{2}
\setlist[todolist]{label=$\square$}
\begin{document}
My ToDo list

\begin{itemize}
  \item Immediate plan of action.

  \begin{todolist}
    \item List item 1 goes here.
    \item List item 2 goes here.
    \begin{todolist}
      \item Sublist item 1 goes here.
      \item Sublist item 2 goes here.
    \end{todolist}
    \item List item 3 goes here
    \item List item 4 goes here.
  \end{todolist}

\end{itemize}
\end{document}

We create a new type of list called todolist, which has two levels of nesting and is based on itemize. Each label within a todolist is set as $\square$, at both levels.

3
  • @samcarter; thank you cleaning up my first post. @Werner; thank you for the code, it is appreciated and what I was looking for.
    – jaykeno
    May 29, 2015 at 20:22
  • 3
    If one does not want to use $\square$ (for example in a pandoc template) one can also use the following: \newcommand{\checkbox}{\text{\fboxsep=-.15pt\fbox{\rule{0pt}{1.5ex}\rule{1.5ex}{0pt}}}} and then replace all $\square$ with \checkbox. Oct 12, 2016 at 16:50
  • that works fine! I use the \tightlist-command in my other lists. It works here, too - just not at the end of the first-level-list before starting the 2nd-level-list. Any idea how to solve that?
    – PikkuKatja
    Sep 10, 2020 at 10:07
123

Here is a variant of Werner's answer with checkmarks for recording progress.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem,amssymb}
\newlist{todolist}{itemize}{2}
\setlist[todolist]{label=$\square$}
\usepackage{pifont}
\newcommand{\cmark}{\ding{51}}%
\newcommand{\xmark}{\ding{55}}%
\newcommand{\done}{\rlap{$\square$}{\raisebox{2pt}{\large\hspace{1pt}\cmark}}%
\hspace{-2.5pt}}
\newcommand{\wontfix}{\rlap{$\square$}{\large\hspace{1pt}\xmark}}

\begin{document}
My ToDo list

\begin{itemize}
  \item Immediate plan of action.
  \begin{todolist}
  \item[\done] Frame the problem
  \item Write solution
  \item[\wontfix] profit
  \end{todolist}
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

enter image description here

1
  • Using the suffix package, it is possible to define, e.g., \item* instead of \item[\done].
    – equaeghe
    Jun 2, 2021 at 10:10
10

I adjust the font size of the icon from packages pifont and amssymb, use \raisebox and \hspace to fit the icon position, finally, it looks good, here is a full example:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{pifont}
\usepackage{amssymb}

\begin{document}

\begin{itemize}
\item[$\square$]
no checked
\item[\rlap{\raisebox{0.3ex}{\hspace{0.4ex}\tiny \ding{52}}}$\square$]
failed
\item[\rlap{\raisebox{0.3ex}{\hspace{0.4ex}\scriptsize \ding{56}}}$\square$]
checked
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

enter image description here

0
0

I wanted something super simple with no package dependencies. This worked for me:

\begin{itemize}[label={}]
    \item \lbrack\_\rbrack unchecked
    \item \lbrack x\rbrack checked
\end{itemize}
3
  • It would be nice, to not only show the itemize environment, but a minimal working example, starting with \documentclass and ending with \end{docment} (see the other answers). You should at least explain, which packages are needed for your suggestion. Without at least beginners would have problems in trying to use your code.
    – cabohah
    May 16, 2023 at 7:48
  • The point is NO packages are required at all. To my knowledge this itemize snippet can be cut and pasted into any LaTeX doc and it will work. May 20, 2023 at 19:37
  • 2
    The standard LaTeX kernel environment itemize does not provide options to the environment itself. So you need either a class, that provides it or a package. However, if you think, your code does work with, e.g., article class without any package, show this, to show LaTeX beginners that it is such easy. But here I get: “LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item.” if I only add \documentclass{article}\begin{document} before your code and \end{document} after it.
    – cabohah
    May 22, 2023 at 7:02

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