Word - Automatic table of figures

Creating a Table of Figures in Microsoft Word

Captions are useful for providing context to images, charts, and other illustrations in your document. A table of figures helps readers navigate these elements quickly by creating a table with all 'captions' in it as well as their page number.  Captions can also be used to create a table of tables or a table of equations too, by changing the 'label' when inserting a caption, or inserting the table.

This guide will walk you through the steps to add captions and create a table of figures in Microsoft Word. But bare in mind the same actions can be performed for Tables or Equations by selecting a different label.

Adding a Caption

Click on an image to select it. A border will appear around the image indicating it is selected.

Go to the "References" tab on the Ribbon and click "Insert Caption" in the Captions group: Illustrative image

In the "Caption" dialogue box, you can enter the text of your caption. By default, the label will be "Figure," but you can choose other labels such as "Table" or "Equation" from the "Label" drop-down menu.You can also change the position of the caption to be above or below the selected item:  Illustrative image

Click "OK" to apply the caption. The caption will appear with a sequential number and the text you entered.

Creating a Table of Figures

(or Table of Tables/Table of Equations)

Place your cursor where you want to insert the table of figures. This is typically at the beginning or end of your document: Illustrative image

Go to the "References" tab on the Ribbon and click "Insert Table of Figures" in the Captions group. Making sure to select the label type of the type of table you want, in this case 'Figures': Illustrative image

In the "Table of Figures" dialogue box, you can also choose the style and format of your table. You can also decide if you want to include page numbers and align them.

Click "OK" to insert the table of figures into your document. It will list all the captions along with their corresponding page numbers.

Updating the Table of Figures

If you add new captions or edit existing ones, you will need to update the table of figures to reflect these changes.

Click anywhere in the table of figures to select it. Then go to the "References" tab and click "Update Table" in the Captions group: Illustrative image

In the "Update Table of Figures" dialogue box, choose whether to update only the page numbers or the entire table.

Click "OK" to apply the update. Your table of figures will now reflect any changes made to the captions.

Still need help?