Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Creating Usable Figure Captions.

Creating Usable Figure Captions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 30, 2011)

Ron wondered how to use figure captions with images inserted in a text box. The captions are inserted OK, but they are not available as cross-references or for inclusion in a Table of Figures.

This, unfortunately, is a shortcoming of Word when it comes to text boxes. The first problem (not being able to use the captions in cross-references) can be overcome with a bit of ingenuity. Simply bookmark the caption, then cross-reference the bookmark within text. This extra step can get to be a bother, however.

The best solution if you really need cross-references and Table of Figures inclusion is to not insert your figures in text boxes. Instead, insert them in old-fashioned frames. Frames have been fully described in other issues of WordTips. They are similar to text boxes, but there are some subtle-yet-important differences that can make them the option of choice, at times. One of those differences is that when you insert a figure and caption into a frame, the caption is available both for cross-referencing and for inclusion in a Table of Figures.

The reason for this difference is where Word tracks the different elements. A text box is considered part of the Drawing layer, not a part of the document itself. As such, text boxes are not referenced in some features of Word. Frames, on the other hand, are a part of the Document layer, and fully available to the required features.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1503) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Creating Usable Figure Captions.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Links

If your worksheet is linked to data in other worksheets, you may need to change the link from time to time. Here's how to ...

Discover More

Understanding Background Saving

Word has the capability to save your work, in the background, while you continue to edit your documents. This tip explains ...

Discover More

Saving Money on Printing Labels

Labels can be expensive, and a little common sense will help you waste less money as you try to get your labels to appear ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Resizing a Text Box

Text boxes allow you to "segment" information in your document and lay it out differently. You can easily resize these boxes ...

Discover More

Understanding Frames and Text Boxes

What is the difference between frames and text boxes? Why use one over the other? Find out here.

Discover More

Creating Sideheads

A sidehead can be used as a layout element for a document. You can create sideheads in a document by using text boxes, as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.