How Do I Create a Table of Figures in Microsoft Word?

By Aaron Parson

Word 2013 and 2010's "Insert Table of Figures" feature automatically generates a list of every figure caption that appears in a document, and can update that list with a single key press. Even if you didn't use the caption option to label your figures, Word can pick out labels based on a unique text style to create the table with far less work than it takes to draw and maintain a table by hand.

Step 1

**Add captions to every figure using the "Insert Caption" option on the References tab.** Alternatively, if you already have figure labels as part of your document text, rather than as separate captions, demarcate them by assigning them a style: Select the figure text, open the "Home" tab and pick a style from the Styles section, such as "Subtitle" or "Quote," that isn't used elsewhere in the document.

Step 2

Place the cursor where you want to insert the table. **Press "Insert Table of Figures" on the References tab** to start building the table.

Step 3

Adjust the table's formatting, such as setting whether to show page numbers or altering the style of the tab leader, which separates figure titles from page numbers. To use a preset style, pick an option from the "Formats" drop-down menu. If you want to customize the style, leave this option set to "From Template."

Step 4

Click "Modify" and then click "Modify" in the Style window to customize the style of the table. Change the table's font, size or other settings and press "OK" on both the Modify Style and Style windows.

Step 5

Press "Options," check "Style" and select the style used for your figure labels to build the table based on text style, rather than on data taken from the "Insert Caption" process. If you used "Insert Caption," skip this step.

Step 6

Click "OK" to insert the table.

Step 7

Select the table of figures and **press "F9" to update the table** after making any changes to your figure labels. Pick "Update Page Numbers Only" if you moved figures between pages, or pick "Update Entire Table" if you changed the text of figures, added figures or removed figures.

Tips & Warnings

  • If Word numbers your figures out of order, temporarily set the objects to "In Line With Text" wrapping. Word generates figure numbers based on object positions, and this wrapping style helps identify figures that are actually in a different order than they appear. Reposition the objects as necessary to order them as desired.