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In MS Word (2016 at least) you can align multiple objects (e.g. textboxes, tables, frames, drawing canvases, ...) relative to some feature like the page, column, or margin. If you tell each of them to not allow overlap then they will begin to stack mostly nicely. For example, I can have a table then its frame in a caption and tell both to align to the bottom relative to the margin and at the bottom of that page I get the table followed by the frame with the caption. Note: the frame was created by right-clicking the tables' little + icon in the top-left corner and choosing "Insert Caption...".

However, when I do this I get the caption below the table. The formatting requirements for a certain publication requires that captions go above tables.

The first thing I tried was moving each of the objects to somewhere else and then back again to see if whoever reached the bottom first was the one that got to stay lower, but no go, the caption always went to the very bottom.

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The ordering of objects depends on the ordering of when the anchor was placed at the particular paragraph. So moving the anchor icon of whichever you want on top to another paragraph then back should order them correctly.

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