Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Condensing Figure Caption References.

Condensing Figure Caption References

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 11, 2015)

2

Chris wrote about problems having Word correctly refer to ranges of captions in his reports. For instance, referencing "Figures 1 to 6" instead of "Figure 1 to Figure 6," as is easily accomplished through the use of cross references. It seems that such proper wording is possible, if the following steps are followed:

  1. Position your insertion point where you want the range reference to occur.
  2. Type the words 'Referenced in Figures ' (don't forget the trailing space).
  3. Insert a cross-reference to the first figure in the range, making sure the "Only label and number" option is selected.
  4. Type the word 'to' followed by a cross-reference to the last figure in the range. (Again, make sure the "Only label and number" option is selected.) Your document will look something like this:
Referenced in Figures Figure 1 to Figure 6
  • Select the 'Figure 1' field and press Ctrl+F9. Word creates a new field with the 'Figure 1' REF field inside it, as follows:
  • Referenced in Figures { Figure 1 } to Figure 6
    
    1. Inside the new field, to the left of the 'Figure 1' embedded field, type 'QUOTE ' (make sure you include the space).
    2. Inside your new field code, insert ' \* "Arabic" ' between the embedded 'Figure 1' field and before the closing brace. Again, note the spaces.
    3. Repeat steps 5 to 7 for the other cross-reference.
    4. If you press Alt+F9 to show field codes, your document should look something like this:
    Referenced in Figures { QUOTE {REF _Ref111111 \h } \* "Arabic" } to { QUOTE {REF _Ref22222 \h } \* "Arabic" }
    
  • Press Alt+F9 to switch back to viewing field results, then select the two new fields and press F9 to update them. The result should be something like this:
  • Referenced in Figures 1 to 6
    

    The trick is to use the QUOTE field along with the \* "Arabic" formatting switch. The QUOTE field de-references the REF field, making it seem as if it were simple text. The Arabic format tells Word to display the text in Arabic numerals. Serendipitously, Word ignores non-numeric characters when it applies the Arabic switch.

    WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9802) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Condensing Figure Caption References.

    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

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    What is 2 + 1?

    2017-05-31 12:08:15

    Brian

    I have captioned all of my figures and tables with the heading and sub-heading options, i.e Table 4.1-1 and Table 4.1-2. If I use the method described above, then the result comes out as "Tables 5 and 6" instead of the desired "Tables 4.1-1 and 4.1-2". I assume that using the dash and decimal is denoting math somehow, is there a way around this?


    2015-12-03 08:39:28

    André

    Does not work for me in Word 2013 (OS: Windows 8.1 in English).

    After hiding the field codes, both references are blank.

    My code looks like this:

    Figures { QUOTE { REF_Ref436916370 h} * "Arabic"} and { QUOTE { REF _Ref436916371 h} * "Arabic"} show the histogram ...

    But it looks like:

    Figures and show the histogram ...


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