Easy Table of Figures in Word

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If you have included images, graphs, tables or equations in a document, Word can generate a list of all of these, for you. Like a table of contents, this list can include page references or links to each figure or picture.

A Table of Figures can be useful for creating a proper appendix of figures or tables within more formal documentation. It can be handy to have a list of all the images used in a document either for publication or just for ‘in-house’ use during writing.

Before you can add a table of figures to your document, you must add captions to all the figures in your document, as described in Adding Captions in Word.

Making a simple Table of Figures

Once you have some ‘figures’ captioned in the document you can make a reference table of them.

Click where you want the table to appear (most likely as an appendix or close to your table of contents). Go to References | Captions | Insert Table of Figures to bring up the “Table of Figures” dialog.

The “Print Preview” and “Web Preview” panes show how the table will appear. By default, page numbers are displayed and aligned to the right, although you can change this by deselecting the appropriate checkboxes.

The “Tab leader” dropdown changes what appears between the text and the right-aligned page numbers.

“Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers” for the web preview gives you a clickable table with links to each figure in the Word document.

The “Caption label” drop down list allows you to select which type of caption (a figure, equation, table or user-defined label) will appear in this table of figures. You can only select one grouping of caption labels per table of Whatever.

Captions relating to images and equations for example, can’t normally both appear within the same table (although this can be done as described below). Instead, they can be placed in a separate table of figures ( images etc) and another for equations, thereby keeping the grouping of the image and equation entries separate.

Table Formats

The “Formats” drop-down list directly affects the appearance of the table of figures. The available options are:

  • From template
  • Classic
  • Distinctive
  • Centered
  • Formal
  • Simple

Select a format to see how it will look in the preview panes.   Most people use ‘From template’ because that will match the font etc in the current document or template.

To design a custom table of figures layout, select “From template” and click the “Modify” button to create your own style.

When you are happy with the layout, click “OK” to build your table of figures. Word will search for the captions, sort them by number, and display the table of figures in the document.

Word déjà vu

If all this seems familiar, that’s because it’s almost exactly the same as the ‘Table of Contents’ options. In fact, a Table of Figures uses the same underlying Word technology as Table of Contents (the {TOC } field).


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