This one was suggested by a regular reader of this blog in a comment, and I promise to write about it quite a long time ago.
This is a very specific situation where the style guide for your organisation or publisher demands that you have Figure and Table captions set out over two lines, but you want the Table of Figures to have one line including both Figure label and caption, so it looks something like this:
How not to create a two-line figure caption
The natural inclination is to use the Return key to split the Figure label and caption, either by entering it all in one line in Insert Caption then splitting it up or using Insert Caption to add the title, hitting Enter then adding the caption. However, when you create your Table of Figures, it either won’t pick up the second line at all or will create two entries in the Table of Figures:
How to create a two-line figure caption so the Table of Figures only has one line per figure
This is how you do it correctly. The key is to use the soft line return (Shift+Enter) rather than a hard, paragraph return (Enter).
Place the cursor where you want to insert your caption and go to the References tab, Insert Caption:
Make sure the figure label reads as you want it to (adjust the label to Table, etc.) and then hit OK
Place the cursor at the end of the figure label and hit Shift+Enter to start a new line:
Type in your caption:
Type the whole caption into the Insert Caption box and press OK:
Place the cursor at the start of the caption and press Shift+Enter to move it down to the next line:
Now create your Table of Figures using References, Insert Table of Figures and you should have one entry per Figure:
This article has taught you how to create two-line figure captions which show on one line in your Table of Figures.
If you have found this useful, please comment using the comment box below and/or share using the social media sharing buttons. Thank you!
Other useful posts on this blog
How to create a Table of Contents
Table of Figures and Table of Tables
How to update your Table of Contents, Table of Tables or Table of Figures
Editing and the Table of Contents
February 15, 2017 at 10:10 am
Brilliant thanks. Saved me house and very clearly explained.
June 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm
This works well, but what if the two lines are different fonts in the doc, but not in the Table of Tables? What if I need a colon after the Table designation. What if I need a tab after the colon?
In the body of my doc
Table I (shift enter) – note there is no colon because the reference manual doesn’t want one
caption words (in italic)
But in my Table of Tables, I need
Table I: (1/2 tab) caption words (not in italic)
Thanks for any help you can provide
June 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm
If your style guide demands one style in the captions and another in the table of figures, you might have to manually edit your table of figures once the document is finalised and you’re not going to change it any more (as if you update it, it will return to its previous format). Which style are you using, out of interest?
June 27, 2018 at 2:30 am
Your instructions on how to add table of figures AND tables, as well as the 2-line solution were perfect – so clear and just let me finalize my document so it looks perfect. Exactly what I needed. Thank you!!
June 27, 2018 at 9:18 am
I’m so glad to have been able to help you – thank you for taking the time to add your comment!
August 31, 2019 at 7:33 pm
This was wonderful. Thank you. I have a problem though. I am doing this in APA style, and so I have to have the word Table in regular font, but the title must be italicized. I have changed it accordingly in the document body, but when I create the list of tables it italicizes the title, unlike your example. I have tried multiple methods to adjust it to no avail. Can you help?
August 31, 2019 at 7:38 pm
I’m sorry. I didn’t catch that you had addressed this in a previous post. Thank you so much for your invaluable help.
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August 31, 2019 at 7:42 pm
My workaround for this is to wait until you’ve stopped changing the text, then highlight the list of tables and un-italicise it, then make sure you don’t update it again! I hope that helps.
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