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: Formatting Captions.

Formatting Captions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 4, 2014)

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Word includes a captioning feature that allows you to manually or automatically add captions in your document. These captions are typically placed with tables or other objects (such as figures) to identify them. For instance, you might have a caption such as "Figure 2" that appears below a figure.

When you use the captioning feature, Word automatically formats the caption using the Caption style. By default, the Caption style uses the same typeface as your Normal style, except it is bold. If you want to use a different set of attributes for your captions, all you need to do is change the Caption style. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles pane at the right side of the desktop.
  3. Click Options at the bottom of the Styles pane. Word displays the Style Pane Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Style Pane Options dialog box.

  5. Using the Select Styles to Show drop-down list, choose All Styles.
  6. Click OK to close the Style Pane Options dialog box.
  7. In the Styles pane, scroll through the list of styles until you see the Caption style.
  8. Hover the mouse pointer over the Caption style name. Notice that a downward-pointing arrow appears at the right side of the style name.
  9. Click on the downward-pointing arrow and choose the Modify option from the resulting menu. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box.
  10. Click on Format and choose the portion of the style you want to change. The options available through the Format button utilize dialog boxes with which you are already familiar.
  11. Click on OK to save your modifications.
  12. Close the Styles pane, if desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13267) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting Captions.

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 two more than 9?

2016-07-07 10:07:12

Jonathan Baker

Question: In this procedure you explain basic formatting for captions. What you didn't explain, as shown in your example, is how to make the words "Figure 1" bold and have the actual title of the caption remain in the Regular font. Help! I need this to happen automatically, i.e. I don't want to have to go through every caption to unbold the text.


2016-01-14 19:00:18

Shamelah

Very helpful - thanks for the pro tips Allen!


2015-06-09 14:36:51

Kathy

I have used the caption for my figures and tables; however, somehow the caption style has morphed to the table as well and shows up in the table of tables.

How do I delete the caption style from the table without loosing all my table formatting?


2015-02-28 01:49:25

Faisal

Thanks Allen for this help.


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