Table of Equations in Word made simple

Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.


If you have included equations in a document, Word can generate a list of them all for you. Like a table of contents, this list or Table of Equations can include page references or links to each equation.

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

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

Making a simple Table of Equations

Once you have some equations 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 (yes, ‘Figures’) to bring up the “Table of Figures” dialog.

First thing to do is change the Caption Label from Figures to Equation.  And lo! you have a Table of Equations!

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 equation in the Word document.

Table Formats

The “Formats” drop-down list directly affects the appearance of the table of equations. 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 equations 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 equations. Word will search for the captions, sort them by number, and display the table of equations 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’  and Table of Figure options. In fact, a Table of Equations uses the same underlying Word technology as Table of Contents (the {TOC } field).


Want More?

Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.