Different Table Captions on Multiple Pages

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 19, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


3

Chuck has some long tables in his documents, and he would like the table caption to be different for the second and subsequent pages on which the table occurs. For instance, he would like to have the caption on the first page of the table be something like "Table 1 Results" and for the other pages be something like "Table 1 Results (continued)".

The short answer is that Word doesn't allow you to have different captions when the table extends to multiple pages. One obvious solution is to break your table into two—one part for the first page and another for subsequent pages. You could then add multiple captions for the tables. This will only work if your page layout is static (you won't be adding any more text before the table). It can also mess up any "table of tables" that you may add to your document, as you would have two captions for what is essentially the same table.

Another possible workaround is to follow these general steps:

  1. Put the continuation text (such as "continued" within parentheses) into the caption.
  2. Anchor an opaque text box or a drawing rectangle to the paragraph immediately preceding the table and lock the anchor in place. (You need the anchor to remain outside the table, locked to that preceding paragraph.)
  3. Drag the text box or rectangle over the continuation text in the caption and size it to cover only that text. This will hide the text on the first page of the table but not on subsequent pages.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3417) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

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What is seven minus 5?

2020-04-07 16:40:44

Paul Stregevsky

Your workaround--the anchored opaque textbox--is clever, Alan. But "(continued)" will appear in the List of Tables.


2018-12-04 11:48:22

Steve Lopez

Or you could label the table with a caption and then on the next page, create a new table with the continued information and place a table reference with "cont'd, continued, etc." so that it looks like a caption. That way it updates with the real table caption, but it won't show up as a separate table in the table of tables.


2014-06-04 05:18:59

Simon A Watts

The document style standard I am currently working with specifies that captions for tables should be above their table. I can then place the caption in a borderless header row so that it is repeated when the table spans multiple pages.

So, the next step is to have "(continued)" appended to the title for each repeated occurance. What I need is some autotext which evalutates to empty if the current page equals the page where the caption is defined, and "(continued)" otherwise.


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