List of Tables and Figures for a Dissertation or Thesis


Visualizing and compressing information in the form of diagrams, drawings, or tables helps improve the readability and understandability of a document. Graphic inserts, which deliver information more accurately and quickly and give diversity to typography, are an excellent alternative to only words written. 

A table of figures is a valuable addition to academic writing. A table of figures gives readers an overview of the visuals and tables included in the dissertation. Titles and page numbers are displayed, and each item is numbered and arranged consecutively. For instance, readers may look up the page number for a particular chart in the table of figures if they only want to have a quick look at it.

It may rapidly become difficult and time-consuming to manually create a list of tables in documents that have several tables and graphics. Fortunately, a function in Microsoft Word allows you to generate a table of figures automatically. 

Making sure that your figures and tables have a caption is the first step in generating your list of figures and tables. By doing this, Microsoft Word will be able to locate each one and automatically assemble them in your list.

Follow these steps to accomplish this:

The Steps of Creating a Table of Figures in MS Word

1. Click “Insert Caption,” located in the Captions group on the References tab.

Step1 of creating a list of figures in MS Word

2. Assign a name to your caption. You can choose the label from the Label list that best represents your figure or table, or you can create your own by choosing “New Label.”

Assign a name to your caption.

3. Now, by clicking “Insert Table of Figures,” which is located to the right of the “Insert Caption” button, you can insert the list of tables and figures directly.

Insert Table of Figures MS Word

Be cautious because only the things you have highlighted with the “Insert Caption” tool will be included in the list. As you can see in the menu below, you can also select the formatting and layout.

The actual list may be made when all your tables have been added and described. Select the “Insert Table of Figures” option to achieve this. You may format your table of figures in the window that appears when it opens. You now have several alternatives to consider, such as:

  • Page numbers should be right-aligned.
  • Change the fill characters.
  • Create a template of your own.

There are hyperlinks provided between the various entries. You are directed to the relevant table when you click on an entry. After confirming your options, Word will generate the table’s figure.

Hyperlinks List of Tables and Figures

Following are some things to keep in mind:

  • Tables and figures should always be numbered and have descriptive headings.
  • Be sure to cite your sources if a figure or table was obtained from or based on another source.

Updating the Table of Figures

Automated changes can be made to the table of figures. For instance, all you have to do to create a new table anyplace in your document is to insert it and give it a caption. The table of figures will be updated immediately.

For the new entry to appear, you must update your table of figures. Either choose the “Update Table” from the context menu when right-clicking the list or use the “Update Table ” option under the “References” menu item.

Some Useful Tips

  1. The APA handbook doesn’t specify requirements for a list of tables and figures because it isn’t a required component. However, there are APA-specific guidelines if you need assistance working out the layout for the figures and tables themselves.
  2. Tables are treated as figures in Word. Tables and figures can both be added to a text and listed together.

Frequently Asked Questions


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