Microsoft Word Tips: How to Create a List of Charts and Figures
  • 2-minute read
  • 1st May 2016

Microsoft Word Tips: How to Create a List of Charts and Figures

Microsoft Word is one of the most widely-used computer programs around, with millions of ‘.doc’-uments written at home and in the office every day.

Despite this, most people only scratch the surface of MS Word’s functions. For instance, did you know that Microsoft Word allows you to generate automatic lists of charts and figures?List of FiguresRead on to find out how!

Using Captions

The first step to adding an automatic table to your document is to add captions to your charts and figures. To do this, simply:

  1. Right click on a chart/figure and select ‘Insert Caption…’Insert Caption
  2. In the pop-up window, choose the label you require; as a default, try using ‘Figure’ for images and ‘Table’ for chartsEdit Caption
  3. Add your caption text

A caption will then appear either above or below the image, depending on the chosen positioning. You can also add a caption anywhere in your document by selecting the place where you want it to appear and either:

  1. Clicking on ‘Insert Caption’ in the ‘References’ tab, or;
  2. Selecting ‘Caption’ in the Styles menu and typing; this creates captions without a pre-set label and gives more control over how they’re presented

Generating Dynamic Lists

Using the information in your captions, you can then generate a ‘dynamic’ table of figures or charts so your reader can quickly navigate your document.

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As well as being quicker than creating a manual list, this system also allows you to update your table at the touch of a button, so they’ll remain accurate even if you change your captions later on. All you have to do is:

  1. Select where you want the list to appear in your document
  2. Go to the ‘References’ tab and select ‘Insert Table of Figures’Insert Table
  3. Choose the caption label type you want to listList Options
  4. Click ‘OK’

This will automatically generate a list indexing all images/charts in your document tagged with the label you’ve chosen. By using more than one caption style or label type, you can even create separate lists for different types of object in your document.

To update these lists, all you need to do is click on the list in question, go to the ‘References’ tab again and click ‘Update Table’ beneath the ‘Insert Table of Figures’ button.

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