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Adding Captions

A caption is a numbered label, such as "Table 1," that you can add to a table, figure, equation, or other item, which briefly describes the item to which it is attached. Adding a caption to an item makes it possible to refer to that item in a cross-reference or include it in a table of items (such as a Table of Figures or a Table of Tables), both of which you can easily update.


Fig: A typical chart with a caption briefly describing what the chart is representing


Adding Captions
You can add captions to items in two ways: You can have Word automatically add captions when you insert tables, figures, or other items in your document. Or, if you've already inserted the items, you can select any item and then use the Caption command to add captions manually.

Whichever method you use, you can add custom label names, change the formatting of caption numbers, and automatically update caption numbers when you add an item that has a caption.


Add Captions Manually
You use the Caption command to add a caption to a single item that you select. In the Caption dialog box, Word displays a label, a number, and a position for the caption. The insertion point is positioned after the caption number so that you can type a title or explanatory text. When you click the OK button, Word inserts the caption in your document.
Fig: Caption dialog box, explaining the uses of components

Add captions manually to an existing table, figure, illustration, equation, or other item
  1. Select the item you want to add a caption to.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
    The Caption dialog box is displayed. Word displays the label and number of the item in the Caption box.
  3. Fig: Caption dialog box
  4. Do one or more of the following:
    • If the caption label, number, and position are the way you want them, proceed to step 4.
    • To add text to the caption, type the additional text in the Caption box.
      For example, if the caption is "Figure 1," you can add text so that the caption reads:
      Figure 1: Crop Yields in 1999
    • To change the label in the Label box, select the type of label you want for the selected item. You can select Figure, Equation, or Table.
      To add a new label, click the New Label button, type the label name, and then click the OK button, in the New Label dialog box.
    • Fig: New Label dialog box (create custom label)
    • To select a position for the caption, select Below selected item or Above selected item in the Position box.
    • To change the number format used for the caption, click the Numbering button, select the number format you want, and then click the OK button, in the Caption Numbering dialog box.
  5. Click the OK button.


NOTE  Word inserts each caption as a field. If instead of the caption you see an entry that looks something like {SEQ Table\* ARABIC}, when you insert a table, Word is displaying field codes instead of field results. To display the caption, click the field, and then press ALT+F9. Alternatively, right-click the field code, and then click Toggle Field Codes on the shortcut menu. If you select the entire caption , you can also press SHIFT+F9, to toggle between displaying field codes and the caption (the field result).




Adding Captions Automatically
When you use the AutoCaption feature, Word automatically adds captions to all items of a particular type. For example, if you select Microsoft Word Picture and specify that it be labeled Figure, Word automatically adds Figure 1, Figure 2, and so forth to each new drawing of this type that you insert in the document.

You can select more than one type of item. Just make sure that each time you select a check box, you also select a label and a position for the caption before you select the next check box. It's best to use the AutoCaption feature when you create a document. Select all the types of items to which you want to add captions. That way, Word adds captions to items as you insert them. However, Microsoft Word does not add captions to items you inserted before you turn on the AutoCaption feature. You can use the Caption command on he Insert menu to add captions to existing items.


Use these steps to add captions automatically as you insert tables, figures, equations, or other items
  1. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
    The Caption dialog box appears
  2. Click the AutoCaption button.
    The AutoCaption dialog box is displayed.
  3. Fig: AutoCaption dialog box (adding captions automatically)
  4. In the Add caption when inserting list, select the check box to the left of the item for which you want Microsoft Word to insert captions.
  5. In the Use label box, select the label you want for the selected item.
    To add a custom label, click the New Label button, type the label name, and then click OK, in the New Label dialog box that opens.
  6. In the Position box, specify whether the caption is placed above or below the selected item.
  7. To change the number format used for the caption, click the Numbering button to display the Caption Numbering dialog box, select the number format you want, and then click OK.
  8. Repeat Steps 3 through 6 for each type of item you want to add captions to, and then click the OK button.
    Word will now automatically add an appropriate caption each time you insert a specified item.
  9. To add an optional description to the caption that Word adds when you insert any of the specified items, click after the caption and type the text you want.


NOTE  The AutoCaption selections you made will be available in all documents you create.





Changing Caption Formatting and Numbering
You can change caption formatting in the following ways:
  • You can change the formatting of an individual caption by selecting it and then applying the character and paragraph formats you want. To change the appearance of all captions, consider redefining the Caption style, which Word applies to all captions.
  • You can change the number format - for example, from arabic numerals to roman figures. If you apply the Heading 1 style to chapter headings, you can also include the chapter number in caption numbers.


Change the Number Format for Captions
  1. Select the item that has the caption whose number format you want to change.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
  3. Click the Numbering button
    The Caption Numbering dialog box is displayed.
  4. Fig: Caption Numbering dialog box (changing number format for captions)
  5. In the Format box, click the number format you want, and then click OK.
  6. Click OK in the Captions dialog box to return to your document.
    Word reflects the new number format in all caption labels of the same type. For example, if you select a table with the caption "Table" and then select a new number format, Word updates all items previously inserted in the document that have the "Table" caption to reflect the new number format. New tables that are inserted will also have the new number format.





Include Chapter Numbers in Captions
You can include, or have Word include the current chapter number in caption numbers. For example, you can number Tables in Chapter 5 as Table 5-1, Table 5-2, and so on. Before you can successfully do this, you must apply a unique heading style to chapter headings. I said a unique heading style because the heading style you choose must be applied to only chapter headings, and no other item again, in the document. For example, if you format chapter headings with the Heading 1 style, you must not use the Heading 1 style for any other text in the document.

If you do not know how to apply a built-in heading style to chapter headings in a document, learn it now by following the steps briefly highlighted in the following table:

  1. On the Format menu, click Bullets and Numbering, and then click the Outline Numbered tab.
  2. Click a chapter-numbering style (one that includes the text "Heading 1," "Heading 2," and so on), and then click OK.
  3. Type the text you want for the numbered heading, and then press ENTER.
  4. To add the next numbered heading, click the arrow next to the Style box (on the Formatting toolbar) and select the style you want.
    For more information about formatting chapter headings with a built-in heading style, visit the post
    ,
    Adding Bullets and Numbering, Numbering Headings
     or Numbering Pages  later in this blog.

With that in mind, let us now learn how to add chapter numbers to captions in Word, under each of the following headings.


Add chapter numbers to captions created automatically as you insert tables, figures, equations, or other items
  1. Format all chapter headings in your document with one of the nine built-in heading styles.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
  3. Click the AutoCaption button.
    The AutoCaption dialog box appears.
  4. In the Add caption when inserting list, select the check box to the left of the item for which you want Microsoft Word to insert captions.
  5. Click the Numbering button, and do the following:
    1. Select the Include chapter number check box.
    2. In the Chapter starts with style list, select the heading style used to format the chapter headings.
    3. In the Use separator list, select a punctuation mark to separate the chapter number from the caption number, and then click OK.
  6. Click OK to apply the settings.

Fig: Caption Numbering dialog box (adding chapter numbers to caption numbers)



Add chapter numbers to captions created manually for existing tables, figures, equations, or other items
  1. Format all chapter headings in your document with one of the nine built-in heading styles.
  2. Select the item in whose caption number you want to include the chapter number.
  3. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
  4. In the Label list, select the item for which you want Microsoft Word to insert a caption.
  5. Click the Numbering button, and do the following in the Caption Numbering dialog box.
    1. Select the Include chapter number check box.
    2. In the Chapter starts with style list, select the heading style that was applied to the chapter headings.
    3. In the Use separator list, select a character to separate the chapter number and the caption number, and then click OK.
  6. Click the OK button.






Update Captions after Making Changes
If you insert an item to which Word adds a caption or you add a caption yourself, Word automatically updates caption numbers. If you move or delete items that have captions, you need to manually update the captions. The steps to manually update captions after making changes are highlighted below.
  1. Do one of the following:
    • To update a single caption, select it.
    • To update all captions, select the entire document by pressing CTRL+A, or click Select All on the Edit menu.
  2. Press F9, or right-click the selection, and then click Update Field on the shortcut menu.
NOTE
When you print the document, Word automatically updates caption numbers.





Revising Captions
To revise optional caption text, such as a title, just retype it. You can change a single caption label or all labels of a particular type; for example, you can change "Drawing" to "Figure." See the steps to change the label for a single caption, or all labels of a particular type under each respective heading below.

Change the label in a single caption
  1. Select the caption whose label you want to change.
  2. Press the DELETE key to delete the caption.
  3. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
  4. Do one of the following:

    To Do this

    Change a label In the Label box, select the type of label you want, and
    then click the OK button.
    Ad a new label Click the New Label button. Type the new label in the
    Label box, and then click the OK button.

    Word changes the label for the selected caption only. The label does not change in any other captions that have the original label.




Change labels in all captions of the same type
  1. Select a caption with the label type you want to change.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Caption.
    You cannot change a label or number of a caption by retyping over the label or number in the Caption box.
  3. Do one of the following:

    To Do this

    Change a label In the Label box, select the type of label you want, and
    then click the OK button.
    Ad a new label Click the New Label button. Type the new label in the
    Label box, and then click the OK button in the New Label dialog box.
    Click the OK button in the Caption dialog box.

    The new label you select will now reflect in all caption labels of the that (same) type.
    For example, if you select a caption that has a label "Figure" and then select the label "Illustration," Word updates all items that have the "Figure" label that were previously inserted in the document, to reflect the new label, "Illustration."


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