How to Update Table and Figure Numbers in Microsoft Word

Toggle fullscreen Fullscreen button

Sharing buttons:

This tutorial shows how to update table and figure numbers in Microsoft Word.

Hello, my name is Erin.

I’m a professional copy editor who shares writing tips for the real world on this channel

and on my blog at

In a recent tutorial, we used Word’s caption tool to insert table titles and figure captions.

One of the main benefits of using this tool is that Word will automatically number new

tables and figures as you add titles and captions.

However, Word won’t automatically update the existing numbering if you move or delete tables or figures.

So, today we’re going to look at how to update table and figure numbers.

These steps will also update your list of tables or list of figures

if you used Word’s table of contents tool to create those lists.

I’ll be using from Word for Office 365, which is currently the same as Word 2019.

The steps are the same in Word 2016 and similar for Word 2013 and Word 2010.

However, your interface may look slightly different in those older versions of the software.

To begin, select the Home tab in the ribbon.

Then, place your cursor inside one of your table titles or figure captions.

Now, select the Select option in the Editing group.

And then choose Select Text with Similar Formatting from the drop-down menu.

Note that PC users can press Ctrl + A to select the entire document

instead of performing the previous four steps.

However, use caution when selecting the entire document if it contains other fields