Changing Caption appearance in Word or hiding captions completely


Like any other text in Word, the appearance of all your captions can be changed by modifying the style that is applied to them or selecting the text and formatting manually.

See Adding Captions in Word

Caption Style

All captions use the ‘Caption’ style, so modifying that style will modify the format of all past and future captions.

Style Gallery on the Home tab should show the Caption style once you’ve added a caption to the document. It’s one of those ‘Hide until Used’ styles.

If it’s not in the Style Gallery, click on the arrow at the bottom right of the Styles group, scroll down on the menu until you find the Caption style.

Then right-click on the Caption style, select Modify, and proceed as for modifying any other style. That will change the look of captions throughout your document.

Caption Formatting

Captions are formatted with the Caption style.  That style can be changed to alter the look of all captions.

Like any other text, the style formatting can be changed on an individual basis (character formatting). Font size, bold, italic, color, highlighting and many other formatting options are fair game.

Hiding Captions

It’s possible to hide captions completely without deleting them.

Maybe you don’t want the captions but just the Table of Figures/Equations/Tables that’s made from the captions.

Or there are different versions/views of the document with and without extras like captions and footnotes?

Go into the Caption style settings | Format | Font and select ‘Hidden’.

Hidden removes the caption and the line used by the caption below pictures.  That’s when the caption is text on a separate line.

However, when the caption is in a text box (for Shapes, WordArt etc.) the caption isn’t visible but the space used by the caption text box is still used. The result is a blank space above/below the object.


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