How to insert a list of Figues in MS Word

You may have an MS Word document with many figures and tables. For long documents, it is easier for the reader to have a list of contents at the beginning for reference. In the same way, a list of figures at the start of the document helps in locating them easily.

Note: The publishing industry commonly uses the terms list of figures and list of tables. However, MS Word refers to both the terms as a table of figures.

It is easy to create a list of figures or a table of figures. Provided, you have been using Word’s Caption Tool. The tool is for numbering the tables and figures in your document.

You may add or delete a figure or table in your document. The Caption Tool adjusts the numbering. Likewise, it also helps to adjust the list of figures at the start of your document.

We will show you in simple steps how to insert the list of figures. We will also show you how to update it after modifications.

Let us begin.

Step #1: Open the Word document

Open the Word document that has several images, tables, and charts.

Follow the next step if you have not used the Caption tool.

If you have numbered your images, tables, and charts, go to Step #3.

Step #2: Caption the images, tables, and charts

Select the first image, table, or chart and right-click.

From the menu that opens, click on Insert Captions.

This opens the Caption tool

Under Caption, Word has provided the number of the figure.

Enter the name of the figure after the number.

Click OK to close the tool.

Word will number the selection.

Repeat Step #2 for all images, tables, and charts in your document.

Note that Word treats all images, tables, and charts as figures and numbers them serially.

Step #3: Insert Table of Figures

Place the cursor where you want the table of figures to appear in the document.

Click on the Reference tab on the top menu bar to change the ribbon

In the section Captions, click on Insert Table of Figures.

This will open the Table of Figures dialog box.

Make sure there is a tick mark against:

  • Show page numbers — remove the tick mark if you do not want to show page numbers.
  • Right align page numbers — remove the tick mark if you do not want right alignment.
  • Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers — hyperlinks appear for Web Preview.
  • Include label and numbers — include the label and numbering you have added.

Under General,

  • Select From template against Formats.
  • Select Figure against Caption label.

Click on OK to close the dialog box.

Word creates the Table of figures or list of figures.

Type a title above your list or table of figures.

Step #4: Update the Table of Figures.

If you make any changes to your document, Word will not update the table of figures by itself. To update it,

Select the table of figures.

Right-click to open a menu.

Click on Update Field

A dialog box for Update Table of Figures will open.

Click on Update entire table

Click on OK to close the dialog box.

Word will update the entire table.


Follow our step-wise guideline for inserting a list of figures anywhere in your document. We have also shown how to update the list after you have made changes.

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