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How to change caption numbering style in Word

Microsoft Word allows you to insert a caption for a figure, table, or image. Using the caption feature for a figure in your Word document will insert a default caption style with numbers. You can change the caption numbering style in Word to Roman numerals, Arabic, or alphabetic letters. First, we will show you how to modify the Caption Style in Word. Then we will show you the steps to easily change the caption numbering of a figure in Word.

Open Modify Style dialog box if you have no caption in a Word document

By default, Word has applied a Caption Style to all types of captions. The captions for equations, figures, tables, and photos use the same Caption Style. We will first show you the steps to modify the default Caption Style.

The steps in this article can be done in Microsoft Word 2010, Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, and Word 2021. In addition, Microsoft has an article explaining how to add, format, or delete captions.

We will first open the Caption Style dialog box if you have no caption inserted in your Word document.

  1. Go to the Styles group in the Home ribbon
  2. Click on the arrow in the corner of the Styles group
    • The Styles pane opens up
  3. Click on the Manage Styles button
Open Styles

Now the Manage Styles dialog box opens up:

  • Go to the Edit tab
  • Go to Sort order > Select Alphabetical
  • Under Select a style to edit > Find Caption (Hide until used)
    • Press the C button
    • Or scroll down to find it
  • Select it until it becomes blue
  • Click on Modify
Open Manage Styles

So the Caption Style dialog box opens up. You can modify the style for all the captions in your Word document here. Read the next chapter to see how to change the caption style under formatting.

  1. As you can see, we first opened the Styles pane
  2. Then we opened the Manage Styles dialog box
  3. Lastly, we want to modify the caption in Modify Style dialog box
modify style for all caption

Modify caption Style in Word

Before we start changing any caption, it is better if you have a figure caption in your Word document. Read this article to understand how to insert a figure caption in Word.

Modify Caption Style for all captions in your Word document:

  • Click on a caption in your Word document
  • Go to the Styles group in the ribbon > Click on the More button
Click on the more styles button

The Styles selection opens up, where you can find many different styles.

  • Right-click on Caption
  • Select Modify
Styles selection opens to modify caption style

The Modify Style dialog box opens up. There are many formatting options.

  1. Font > change the font
  2. Size > change the size of the font
  3. Font style > bold, italic, or underline
  4. Color > change the color of the font
  5. Alignment > align left, center, or right
  6. Line spacing > space between the captions
  7. Space > add space before or after the caption
  8. Indent > decrease or increase

Make your changes and click OK. It will change the style of all the captions in your Word document.

how to modify caption style in word

Change caption numbering style in Word

Some want to change the caption default numbering, which is 1, 2, 3, …, and so on. You can format the numbering to Roman numbers, Arabic letters, or alphabetical letters. If you want to change the figures’ caption numbering style, you need to follow the steps below.

Go to the caption you want to change in your Word document. You can also insert a new caption.

  1. Go to the References tab
  2. Click on Insert Caption in the ribbon
    • The Caption dialog box opens
  3. Click on Numbering
how to change caption numbering in word

Then, the Caption Numbering dialog box opens up. Here you can change the numbering format for the figure caption.

  • Next to Format > Click on the arrow to see the entire selection
    • Scroll down to see more options
    • In our example, we chose A, B, C, …
  • Click OK
how to change caption numbering in word

You will return to the Caption dialog box, where you can see the numbering has changed to Figure A. It has also changed the caption in your Word document.

  • Click OK to confirm

If you have more captions, it will automatically renumber all the captions in your Word document. Read this article if the figure caption numbering is incorrect in Word.

how to change caption numbering in word

Conclusion

You learned how to modify the Caption Style for all the captions in Word. Here you can change the font, size, color, spacing, and more. You also know how to format the caption numbering style in your Word document. It is easy to follow the steps to change the caption numbering to Roman numerals, Arabic, or alphabetic letters.

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