How to Add a Caption to a Table in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a caption to a table in Word is a simple task that can add clarity and professionalism to your documents. By following a few easy steps, you can label your tables, making them easier to reference and understand. Let’s dive into the steps to get this done efficiently.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding a Caption to a Table in Word

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. Adding a caption to a table will not only label the table for reference purposes but also automatically number them for you, which is especially handy in longer documents.

Step 1: Select the Table

Click on the table to which you want to add a caption.

Once you click on the table, you will see a border around it indicating that it is selected. You might also see a small cross symbol on the top-left of the table, which is another indication that the table is selected.

Step 2: Insert Caption

From the References tab on the ribbon, click on "Insert Caption".

After clicking "Insert Caption," a dialog box will appear where you can type the caption text. Here, you can also choose the label of the caption (such as Table, Figure, etc.) and set the position where the caption will appear relative to the table.

Step 3: Customize Caption Format

In the caption dialog box, click on "Numbering" to customize the format of the table numbers.

In the numbering section, you can select the format of the numbers (like Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, etc.), and decide if you want to include the chapter number in the caption.

Step 4: Apply the Caption

Click "OK" in the caption dialog box to apply the caption to your table.

After clicking "OK," the caption will appear in the position you chose (above or below the table). You can further adjust the formatting of the caption using the regular Word text formatting options.

After you’ve completed these steps, your table will have a neat caption that identifies it and helps the reader navigate your document.

Tips for Adding a Caption to a Table in Word

  • Before adding captions, make sure your tables are in the final position within your document.
  • Use consistent labels (like "Table" or "Figure") for all your captions to maintain uniformity.
  • Remember to update your table of figures if you’ve added or removed captions.
  • Keep your captions concise but descriptive enough to be understood out of context.
  • If your document includes many tables, consider using the caption’s automatic numbering feature to save time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove a caption from a table?

Simply click on the caption text and press the delete key.

Can I add a caption to a table in a Word document on a Mac?

Yes, the steps for adding a caption to a table are the same for Word on a Mac as they are for Word on a Windows PC.

Is it possible to add captions to all tables at once?

No, you need to add captions to each table individually.

Can I use different numbering styles for different tables?

Yes, you can customize the numbering style for each caption through the "Numbering" button in the caption dialog box.

What if my caption doesn’t automatically update after rearranging tables?

You can update all fields in a Word document by selecting all text (Ctrl+A) and pressing F9.


  1. Select the table.
  2. Insert caption from the References tab.
  3. Customize caption format.
  4. Apply the caption.


So there you have it! Adding a caption to a table in Word is a breeze if you follow the steps outlined above. Whether you’re writing an academic paper, a business report, or any document that involves data presented in tables, captions can significantly enhance the readability and professionalism of your work. They serve as a guidepost, helping readers understand the relevance of the data at a glance.

The key is to be consistent and clear with your captions. Remember, the goal is to make your document as user-friendly as possible. As you get comfortable with this feature, you’ll find that it’s not just about the aesthetic appeal; it’s about effective communication. And who doesn’t want to be a better communicator, right?

Try it out the next time you’re working with tables in Word. With captions, your tables won’t just be standalone elements but integral, well-explained parts of your narrative. Happy captioning!

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