How to move captions with pictures in MS Word

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If you use Word and sometimes put pictures and captions in your documents, you will probably find today’s tip helpful. Sometimes when you have a picture and a caption in Word, and you try to move the picture, the caption doesn’t get moved like you would expect it to. Here’s how to fix that (and thanks to reader Marloes for suggesting this as a tip).

Word Captions

 

Here’s a little background, if you’re not familiar with this.

Let’s say I have a blank Word document, and I put in a picture of my dog, Fenway:

Word captions

 

I can right-click on the picture to get a menu, and you can see that one of the options is that I can “Insert Caption”:

Word Captions

So I do that and type in his name, and now my picture has a caption:

Word captions

But here’s the problem. If I decide later on, maybe after I’ve typed up 10 pages in this document, that I want to move that picture to a different spot, it doesn’t work properly. I can drag that picture wherever I want it to go, but the caption still stays back in its original place. Why is that? That’s a good question to ask Microsoft, since they designed Word to work this way. I cannot think of any logical reason for it. Obviously if you made a caption for a picture, the caption should move with the picture. But it doesn’t.

But here’s the fix.

Before inserting the picture, you just insert a 1×1 table:

Word captions

 

Then, you put the cursor inside the table and insert the picture there.

Then you add the caption.

By default, the table’s borders will be visible in the document. If you don’t want that, you can right click on the table and choose Table Properties – Borders and Shading and choose “none”. When you do that, anyone reading the document would not even know a table is there – they will just see the picture and the caption.

So now you have a table, with your picture inside the table, and the caption under the picture. If you want to move the picture somewhere else in the document, you don’t move the picture – you move the table. And whatever is inside the table (the picture AND the caption) just comes right along with it!

It’s unfortunate that we have to create workarounds like this just to make a Word document appear like we want it to appear, but that’s the way it is. At least this particular problem is solved.

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