I would like to generate figure captions as displayed in the image below.

enter image description here

The figure caption should contain 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Automatic numbering including chapter number and figure number. Font: Bold
  • Part 2: The first sentence is a figure heading formatted in Bold.
  • Part 3. The rest of the text is the figure description and should be formatted as "regular" (not bold).

So far I only achieved to automatically format Part 1 as "bold" by defining the "Captions"-Style. Then I can manually type the Part 2 in Bold. I can now also manually select "regular" font to type Part 3.

But as soon as I update fields, the complete figure caption is formatted in bold.

Is there a way to define Part 3 as "regular" without it changing back to "bold"? I heard there might be a possibility of using macros. I am not experienced with this, however. But if there is a good tutorial, I would be able to follow.

Thank you very much in advance

2 Answers 2


You would want to use a Style Separator.

(The link above is to a spot in my website.)

You would create a new style called Caption Plain which would be the same formatting as your normal or body text style. The Caption style itself would be bold. You would have the parts you want in bold in that style. Press the carriage return and use the Caption Plain style. Then return to the end of the caption and use the Style Separator.

The screenshot below, from my page, shows this being used with a Heading Style.

screenshot using style separator

On a Mac, you would use a regular paragraph break marked as hidden.

Note: The text in the Caption Plain style will not be shown in a Table of Figures. link to my site

In the definition of your Caption style, you could make the Caption Plain style the style for the following paragraph. After inserting the Caption, go to the end of the paragraph, press Enter and add your non-bold text which will be in the Caption Plain style. Then insert your Style Separator.

  • Thank you so much, that's amazing. This works perfectly! After years of headache about this, there is finally a solution!!
    – AJZ203
    May 4, 2021 at 16:17
  • Did I understand rightly that only the part before the style separator will be included in the Table of Figures?
    – harrymc
    May 4, 2021 at 17:44
  • Yes, I understood that. Sorry in case I haven't communicated this clearly, but that is actually the effect I was looking for. In the List of Figures I am aiming to include only the bold-typed Figure heading and not the regular-typed Figure description.
    – AJZ203
    May 4, 2021 at 18:00
  • It does not matter how they look in the document. They could look the same. What matters is that they have different paragraph styles applied. May 4, 2021 at 22:59
  • Yes. The important thing is they have different styles applied and in addition the plain text does not show in the figure legend, only the bold "figure heading" which is a positive side effect that helps me as well.
    – AJZ203
    May 5, 2021 at 2:33

Word uses the style called "Caption" for captions and will apply it to the whole text. Word cannot do complex styles that are part bold and part regular.

I think that the solution would be to modify the Caption style so it becomes harmless and will leave alone your manual styling of the text.

I have not tested my following idea:

  • Create a new style called for example "mycaption" that does something harmless like setting the font

  • Modify the Caption style to be based on "mycaption":

    • In Home > Styles pane, click the little icon at the bottom-right
    • In the Styles dialog, click the Manage Style icon (bottom third-left)
    • Find "Caption" in the list and click it
    • Click "Modify..."
    • Set "Style based on:" to your style "mycaption"
    • Click OK.

If this works, you will still need to set in bold the text part manually for each figure, but this will not change when Word updates the style of the text to "Caption".

  • Thank you for your answer. I appreciate your help very much. This approach is definitely worth exploring, but the solution of Charles Kenyon using a Style Separator definitely solves the problem by its roots.
    – AJZ203
    May 4, 2021 at 16:21

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