Insert a caption in Microsoft Office Word 2007

You can type captions manually when you insert pictures, tables, or other objects into a document. However, you have more options available to you when you use the caption commands built into Microsoft Office Word 2007.

Video: Move captions and pictures together

Learn how to move captions and pictures together Learn more

When to use caption commands

With the caption commands, you can automatically insert labels, such as Figure 1 or Table 1. Word 2007 keeps track of the numbering. For convenience, you can also enable AutoCaption (which automatically inserts a caption when you add a picture or table). You can also quickly insert a table of all the figures in your document, or add a text box over a picture so that the caption and picture can be moved together.

Insert a caption

  1. Open a document in Word 2007.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Picture or Clip Art, and select an image.
  3. Use the resize handles on the selection border around the image to change the image size, or drag the image (by the border) to a new location. To further enhance a picture, use the commands on the Picture Tools Format tab. For example, you can crop the image, adjust the brightness and contrast, and add a drop shadow effect.
  4. To add a caption to your picture, select the picture. Then, on the References tab in the Captions group, click Insert Caption.
  5. Enter information in the Caption dialog box:
    1. Label: Select Figure, Equation, or Table, or click New Label to create your own label.
      The process for adding captions to tables and other objects, such as SmartArt graphics, charts, shapes, and text boxes, is the same.
    2. Position: Choose whether to insert the caption below or above the picture.
    3. Exclude label from caption: Select to remove the label from the caption.
    4. Numbering: Choose numbering options for the label.
      You can automatically add captions to tables and other objects, too.
    5. AutoCaption: Enable and select caption options to have Office Word 2007 add captions automatically when you insert a picture or another object.
  6. When you're finished, click OK, and the caption is inserted.

Tip: The Caption style is automatically applied to new captions when you use the Insert Caption command. This style is included in all built-in style sets and themes in Word 2007. To change the formatting of captions, you can modify the style, or you can apply formatting directly. To apply direct formatting to captions without modifying the style, right-click a caption, click Styles, and then click Select Text with Similar Formatting. With all of the captions and any other similarly formatted text selected, you can modify formatting, and the changes will apply to all of the selected text. After modifying the formatting using this method, you can right-click a caption, click Styles, and then click Save the Selection as a New Quick Style, so you can quickly apply your formatting to new captions.

Teacher Tips

  • Captions inform the reader, fast.

    When reading anything with a mix of words and pictures, people generally read the headlines first, then scan photos or charts, and snap to the captions.