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Moving Captions with Pictures

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Moving Captions with Pictures.

Pet uses pictures and associated captions in his Word documents. The problem he is having is when he wants to move the picture the caption stays behind. Pete wonders how he can move a picture and caption at the same time.

How you should format your pictures and captions depends, largely, on how you are inserting your pictures and how you are positioning your captions. Are your pictures inserted inline or with text wrapping? Are your captions before or after your pictures? These are important questions.

Let's assume for a moment that you are inserting your pictures inline, instead of activating text wrapping. In this case, it doesn't matter if your captions are before or after your picture. All you need to do is make sure that you define a style for the paragraph in which the picture is inserted and make sure that you adjust the style for the caption's paragraph. If your caption is before your picture's paragraph, make sure that it is formatted to "keep with next." That way Word will always make sure that the caption and picture are on the same page. The same applies if the caption follows the picture; just make sure that the paragraph style you set up for your picture paragraph is formatted for "keep with next."

If your pictures have text wrapping turned on, things get a bit trickier. It generally doesn't work to have text wrapping on and your caption in the body of your document. In those cases it is essentially impossible to pair the two, and you will always be struggling with the caption (itself) wrapping around the picture.

Instead, insert a text box or a table, and use this device to help keep your figure and caption together. If using a text box, you can place the image within the text box with the caption either before or after the image, but also within the text box. If you choose to use a table, then you can use a two-cell table—one for the picture and the other for the caption. It is easy to then wrap the body text around the containing text box or table, and the two will always stay together.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9381) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Moving Captions with Pictures.

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Comments for this tip:

Allison    31 Jul 2013, 11:46
Thanks for the tip, Wyatt. However, for some reason, the text box and the caption are moving, but the figure is staying behind. How can I get everything to move together as a unit? Thanks.
Vidya     24 Jul 2013, 23:08
Will the creation of list of tables and list of figures work when I use a text-box for the picture and the caption .I think not.Then what is the solution if I am working on a user guide and I need to make a list of figures auto as word lets us make but still use a text-box for the figure and the caption.

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