How to Update All Figure Numbers in Word

By C. Taylor

Microsoft Word quickly adds an editable figure number through its Insert Caption function to make referencing images and graphs intuitive. You can change this number by highlighting the figure and choosing to insert another caption. However, doing so could make your figure discontinuous. Likewise, deleting or moving captions confuses the order of figures. Rather than manually changing each figure in such circumstances, use Word's Update Field feature to instantly update all figure numbers.

Inserting a Caption

Step 1

Click the object for which you want to add a caption, such as an image or graph.

Step 2

Click the "References" tab and then select "Insert Caption" in the Captions group.

Step 3

Adjust the automatically filled figure label as necessary. Optionally, click "Numbers" to select a different number format.

Step 4

Click "OK."

Automatically Update All Figure Numbers

Step 1

Open the document you wish to update.

Step 2

Press "Ctrl-A" to select your entire document.

Step 3

Right-click the highlighted text and then select "Update Field" to update all figure numbers. Alternatively, press "F9" to quickly update numbers.