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A table of figures is a list, sorted by page number, of the captions pulled from figures, images, or tables in your document. It’s like a table of contents, but it’s a table of anything to which you can add a caption.

Insert a Table of Figures

Adding a table of figures is a useful tool for allowing the reader to quickly navigate to specific parts of the document (or as a personal quick reference guide). This is especially true for longer documents with an excessive amount of media. It’s important to note, however, that adding a table of figures is only possible if you add captions (not to be confused with alternative text) to your figures, images, and tables. We’ll assume that you have already captioned the relevant material in your Word document in this example.

Once you’re ready to insert your table of figures, go ahead and click the location of the document in which you would like the table to be added. Next, head over to the “References” tab and select “Insert Table of Figures.”

Insert table of figures option in reference tab

Once selected, the “Table of Figures” window will appear, displaying the print and web preview of the table of figures. Here, you can also adjust several options and customize the format of the table.

Once you’ve tweaked your settings, click “OK.”

Edit the Table of Figures options

Your table of figures will now be inserted in your Word doc.

A Table of Figures in Word

Update a Table of Figures

Understandably, your captioned objects may move around as you add, remove, and edit content in the document. As a result, Word also provides a straightforward way to update the table of figures to reflect any changes made.

To update your table of figures, you’ll first need to select it. If you don’t select the table, then the update option won’t be available. Once the table of figures is selected, head over to the “References” tab and click “Update Table.” Alternatively, you can press F9.

Update table of figures option

Now, the “Update Table of Figures” dialogue box will appear. Here, you’re able to update the entire table or only the page numbers. Select the option that works best for you and then click “OK.”

Update entire table or page numbers only options

Your table of figures will now be updated to reflect the current version of the document.

Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, runs ITEnterpriser, a data-storage and cybersecurity-focused online media, and plays with development, with his RAID calculator being his first public project.
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