How to Label Tables and Figures in Microsoft Word

When you are writing an academic document, you need to make sure that you label tables and figures correctly. This is paramount; incorrectly labelled tables and figures can cost you vital marks!

If you can’t work out how to do this correctly, or if you are worried about it, you can always get it checked by a professional. However, if you want to learn how to do it yourself, read on!

How to Label Tables

Tables usually need to have a label positioned above the table itself. Tables should usually be numbered sequentially (i.e. ‘Table 1’, ‘Table 2’, etc.) and the label should explain exactly what data the table presents.

For example, if the first table in your document contained information about commuting by bicycle in Melbourne during 2014, you might label it:

Table 1: Daily Commutes Made by Bicycle in Melbourne, 2014.

How to Label Figures

Figures and graphs usually need to have a label positioned below the figure or graph. As with tables, you should make sure that figures in your document are numbered sequentially and that their labels explain the data clearly and accurately.

How to Insert a Label in Microsoft Word

Labels for tables and figures are known as ‘captions’ or ‘legends’. To insert a caption in Microsoft Word, here is what you need to do:

On a PC

Select the item that needs the caption and go to References > Insert Caption.

Inserting a Caption

Inserting a Caption

Next, the caption box will appear.

Choosing your label name

The ‘Caption’ window.

Here, the first part of the caption will be auto-filled. The default is set to ‘Figure’, which can be applied to images and graphs. You can also select a ‘Table’ label from the dropdown menu. These automatically update to the next number, so if two figures have already been captioned this way, the caption box will display ‘Figure 3’.

The rest of the settings can typically remain the same unless you are using a different numbering system.

On a Mac

Select the item that needs the caption and go to Insert > Caption.

How to insert a label

Inserting a caption.

Next, the caption box will appear.

Choosing your label name

The ‘Caption’ window.

The rest of the process is the same as with a PC.

Using the caption function rather than manually writing out labels will make it easier when you come to inserting a Table of Figures/Tables. Good luck!

ProofreadMyDoc

20/10/16

3 thoughts on “How to Label Tables and Figures in Microsoft Word

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