Passing Custom Caption Labels from a Template to a Document Based on the Template

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 30, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Dan created a new document and, in that document, made two custom caption labels: "Figure Appendix" and "Figure Table." These work great in the original document. The problem is that after Dan saves the document as a template, if a colleague creates a document based on the template, the custom caption labels are not in the Caption Label list. If Dan opens the template directly, they are still there, but a document created on the template doesn't include them. He wonders how he can make the custom caption labels be present in any document that is based on the template.

The key part of Dan's problem is the statement that the caption labels are not there "if a colleague creates a document based on the template." Caption labels are not stored in regular templates or in documents, so they cannot be passed on to others. When you create custom caption labels on your machine, they are stored in your Normal template, so they are available only to you.

There are two possible solutions. First, you can instruct people as to how to create the desired custom caption labels on their own systems—it is easy to do, and the user of each computer would only need to do it once. Second, you could create a macro that would set the custom caption labels for your users. This macro would also only need to be run once on each system. The following short macro would do the trick:

Sub MakeLabels()
    CaptionLabels.Add Name:="Figure Appendix"
    CaptionLabels.Add Name:="Figure Table"
End Sub

Once run, the user would see the desired caption labels in the Caption Label list, as Dan expects.


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12870) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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