Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Turning Off Figure Caption Numbering.

Turning Off Figure Caption Numbering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2020)

2

Bill wants to label the figures in his document with captions. He knows that Word can create figure captions, but it always seems to number the captions. Bill doesn't want to include a number; he just wants the caption that he specifies for the figure. So, he wonders if there is a way to turn off the figure caption numbering.

Word, indeed, does not allow you to turn off caption numbering and still use the automatic captioning feature. You can, however, use the feature to add numbered captions and later edit each caption to remove the numbers.

This is probably more work than you want to do, however. A quicker way is to just add your own captions to each figure manually. Type the caption (you'd have to do that in the captioning feature anyway) and then use either the built-in Caption style or your own custom style to control how the caption looks. If you need a way to refer to the caption in your main text, you can then define a bookmark that encompasses the caption and reference that bookmark in the text.

One of the benefits of using the automatic captioning feature, of course, is that your captions can be gathered together by Word and placed in a table of figures. This can't be done quite as easily if you use your own manual captions. However, if you are careful to use a single style to format your captions, you can modify the way that Word pulls together the TOF to make sure that all paragraphs with that particular style are included. (How you do this has been covered in other WordTips.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8434) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Turning Off Figure Caption Numbering.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven less than 7?

2016-02-25 18:00:22

VH

Arrrrghhhhhhhh! Can't you just say HOW TO DO IT without the patronizing grade-school story about "Bill"? Thanks for still more time wasted this afternoon.


2015-08-09 22:15:09

FK

this is pretty useless, are you saying you must do it manually? any links to the other tips you made mention of?


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