Captions in Word

Brass Contributor

I am trying to place a caption under Tables and Figures that include chapter numbers as follows: Figure 1.1, Figure 1.2, Figure 2.1. I follow all instructions but when I enter the caption it returns it as Figure 0.1, which means it is not picking up the chapter number. Since I am using custom headers that are not reflected in the Caption dialogue box, I go back and set up a new header style (Header 6) that is not used anywhere else in the document. Then when I apply that to the Chapter number header, it applies it to all section headers in the document. Anyone know what I am doing wrong?

45 Replies



In Word, chapter/caption numbering consists of two parts, a STYLEREF field which references a heading number followed by a SEQ field for the caption number. 


When a chapter/caption number appears as 0.#, the issue is that the STYLEREF field can't find the heading number which the program is trying to reference. 


The first step is to look for blank heading paragraphs whose numbering have been suppressed. Remove those blank paragraphs completely or, at the very least, apply Normal style to them, so that Word won't try to reference them. The task will be easier if you display nonprinting marks in Word, for example by clicking the ¶ icon on the Home tab. Paragraph marks will appear as ¶ symbols (pilcrows). 

I have gone through my document and no such blank heading paragraphs exist. Any other suggestions?



How was heading numbering created? You have to use Word's outline numbering facility for the chapter numbers to be referenced correctly. 


If you want to, you can share a representative sample document and I'll have a closer look.

I did use the outline number system to create the chapter numbers. The document is a doctoral dissertation using a seminary provided template. I can send you a copy of the template or the document itself. Which would work best?@Stefan_Blom 

The document I am working on is currently about 200 pages.



I definitely wouldn't need the whole document, just some pages that illustrate the issue. 

How do I get it to you?



You can save a downloadable version of the document on OneDrive or Dropbox and post a link in this thread. 

Here are hyperlinks. The first is the document itself and the second is a copy of the template from my seminary which I am required to use. I have included the entire document and you can delete out what you don't need to use.  Both links are copies of the original so my original will not be effected by what you do.

Dissertation Proposal McGlawn (Working Copy-COPY).docx


PAThS Dissertation Template 2024-COPY.docx


I just investigated my issue further. There are two chapters in my dissertation in which I have not yet added any text. When I insert a caption in those sections, the two-digit system works properly. The problem is with regards to chapters where text has been added.



Are you saying that the issue is now fixed? 

@Stefan_Blom No, it is not fixed. I am just saying the the problem seems to be in the portions of the document that contain additional text and headers. Not sure what that means.



OK, thanks for the clarification. 



See the screen shot below which is from the first chapter. 


What I see are two text paragraphs that are formatted as Heading 1 and for one of them the numbering is suppressed. Look for more paragraphs like this and you will probably find the source of trouble. You should be able to use the Navigation pane to find all Heading 1 paras quickly.


Each time the STYLEREF component of the chapter/caption numbering tries to reference a heading number and that number is suppressed, the STYLEREF field will display a zero. 





I see what you are talking about but don't understand what I am supposed to do to correct the problem.@Stefan_Blom 

Do I need to change those those Heading 1 paragraphs to something else?



Yes, apply a different, unnumbered style. If the corresponding text should be picked up by the table of contents, you will have to apply som other heading style (with no numbering). You can create a custom style whose Outline Level is set to 1. 


Do post back if you want more details. 

Please forgive the ignorance on display here. I do not understand what you mean by applying some other heading style with no numbering or by setting the Outline Level to 1. How do I set the Outline Level?



You can create a new paragraph style by typing a style name in the Apply Styles (Ctrl+Shift+S) pane and then clicking New.


To set properties for the style, click Modify.


In the Modify Style dialog box, you can choose your desired font and other settings.


Specifically, to add Outline Level formatting, click the Format drop down and then click Paragraph. An Outline Level of "Body Text" means an ordinary paragraph, that is, not a heading. You would want to choose "1" for a level 1 heading (corresponding to the built-in Heading 1 style).