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1. Select the cells you want to act like check boxes
2. Apply a data validation via Tools->”Data validation…”
3. For the Criteria, select “Items from a list”.
4. Select the “Enter list items” radio button.
5. In the box, enter the character you want to use as a check character. You don’t have to restrict yourself to keyboard characters. Your system’s Character Map may be helpful. I use the square root symbol (√) because it is the most check mark similar character in the Times New Roman character set. The wingdings character set has a check mark, but Google Docs doesn’t support languages other than their default (which I assume is Times New Roman? or one of the standards).
6. Check the box “Show list of items in a drop-down menu”.
7. Uncheck the box “Allow invalid data, but show warning”.
8. Click Save.
This box can now be either the check mark symbol or nothing. No other value will be accepted. A check mark can be entered using the drop down menu in the cell.
Credit Goes to: JoRyTe