How to Insert a List of Tables and Figures in Microsoft Word

780492 How to Insert a List of Tables and Figures in Microsoft Word

Adding a list of tables and figures is an important part of formatting longer Word documents like reports, theses, and dissertations. This list helps readers locate tables and figures easily within the document.

In this article, we will walk through the steps to insert and update a list of tables and figures in Word.


Before creating the list, you need to add captions to all tables and figures in your Word document. Captions help Word identify tables and figures to include them in the list.

Here are the steps to add captions in Word:

  1. Select the table or image and go to the References tab.
  2. Click Insert Caption.
  3. Select the position for the caption – above or below the object.
  4. Enter a caption label like “Table” or “Figure”.
  5. The caption number is automatically added by Word, no need to type it.
  6. Click OK.

Repeat this for all tables and figures in your document.

Insert List of Tables and Figures

Once captions are added, follow these steps to insert the list:

  1. Place the cursor where you want the list to be inserted. This is usually after the table of contents.
  2. Go to the References tab.
  3. In the Captions group, click Insert Table of Figures. Insert Table of Figures in Word
  4. In the Table of Figures dialog box, select the caption label from the dropdown under General. For example, select Table to create a list of tables.
  5. You can choose the formatting style for the list under Formats.
  6. Click OK when done.

The list of tables or figures is now inserted. Repeat the steps to insert other lists like equations.

Update the List

When you add, delete or move captions in your document, the list of tables and figures needs to be updated. Here are the steps:

  1. Click inside the list to select it.
  2. Under Captions group, click Update Table.
  3. Choose Update entire table option.
  4. Click OK.

This will update the page numbers and order of items in the list.

Tips for Effective Use

Follow these tips to use tables, figures and their lists effectively:

  • Refer to tables and figures in text by their numbers. For example “As shown in Figure 3…”.
  • Keep captions short but descriptive.
  • Place large tables and figures in an appendix instead of the main text.
  • Make sure a table or figure is not split across multiple pages.
  • Tables present detailed numerical data while figures illustrate relationships visually. Use both wisely.


Adding a list of tables and figures in Word documents takes just a few simple steps. By using captions and the automatic table of figures feature, you can save time instead of creating the list manually. This improves the readability of your document by helping readers navigate between tables and figures easily.

I hope this article helped you learn how to insert and update list of tables and figures in Word. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

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