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I have a word document containing images and tables. These have captions which are numbered, like "Image 1-Example of something". Later on I decided to rearrange some of chapters of my document. However numbering of objects remained the same, so the first image is image 8, the second is image 3, etc.

I want to force Word to recompute image numbering so first image in document would be image 1, the second - image 2, etc.

Is that possible? Will references (added through cross reference feature) to those objects be updated?

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migrated from Apr 10 '12 at 9:45

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Can't imagine this would work, but have you tried copy/pasting the entire document to a new one? – Jonathan Payne Apr 9 '12 at 20:52
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You need to update all references in your document. To do so select all of the document (Ctrl+A) then press F9.

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Word 2011 for Mac updates these field values for the whole document before printing. You don't actually have to print the file but just open and close the print dialog via File --> Print... --> Cancel. Don't know if this works for all versions.

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This worked for me whereas command+A, then F9 did not do anything. I just printed as a PDF and magically all the figures were correctly numbered (Word Mac 2011, 14.4.9) – orbeckst Jun 5 '15 at 6:35

To update the things containing references, like the table of contents or cross-references, select the document contents and press F9.

Of course, this will not work if you numbered the captions by hand, instead of letting Word do the counting.

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I've just come across a scenario where Word had decided that the second figure in my document was Figure 1, and that the first one was Figure 2, and that there was nothing I could do to persuade it otherwise.

The eventual solution turned out to be,

  1. Select the second figure and its caption and cut it.
  2. Update fields with F9.
  3. Paste the figure and caption back in.
  4. Update the field in the newly-pasted caption.
  5. Fix the inevitable resulting formatting SNAFU.
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If Track Changes are turned on and tables, figures, and associated captions have been modified, I found I had to accept those changes before the suggestions above worked.

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I had to combine the answer given by bytesum with the other solutions.

  1. open the print dialogue (updates the numbers in the captions)
  2. select all and press F9 (updates the references to these captions)

edit: i am using word 2011 (mac)

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The other way in case your F9 key doesn't work (i.e. remote desktop to pc platform from a mac) use Ctrl+A then right click and select "update field !"

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