I am trying to include Chapter number before Figure numbers for each Chapter in MS Word 2007. Every new Chapter would start with Figure number 1. For example the caption for first figure of Chapter 4 would be: Figure 4-1:....

However, Word is including 0 as Chapter number for all the Chapters. Also, I get this command when I try to include the Chapter numbers from the captions:

enter image description here

Note that even though the Caption shows 1-1 where as infact the 1 is shown as 0 below actual Figures.

How can I correct this and be able to include Chapter numbers other than just 0 in every caption. Thanks.


Your error is because the chapter numbers were not correctly assigned to begin with. You have to assign them correctly before you can begin captioning figures.

  1. Assign chapter numbers using a 'multilevel list' along with a style. Word needs these to be correctly assigned to properly caption the figures. Go to Home > Multilevel List and assign a number to the chapter, and update its style to 'Heading 1' enter image description here

  2. When you right-click your image to caption it, click on 'Numbering' and check the option 'Include chapter number'. From the drop-down box make sure that the style 'Heading 1' is selected as shown below: enter image description here

  3. This gives a perfect caption for each image, as the following shows: enter image description here

Alternatively, if you want to get better looking headings you can define your own format by going to Home > Multilevel list > Define new multilevel list. Define the number format and then customize the style (fonts, font sizes, paragraph and so on) for Heading 1.

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I work as an IT Training & Support Specialist at a UK based post-graduate university and many of our students come to me with this issue in their Thesis documents in Word 2010/2013.

The issue I come across most often is the figure/image has had a Heading style applied by accident - when this happens the caption/chapter numbering goes wild and starts inserting 0 as the chapter number!

Simple solution:- click once on the image to select it, click the Normal style in the Style group on the Home ribbon. Now update the entire document (CTRL+A > F9 > Update Entire Table > OK...repeat as necessary).

Hope this helps some of you in the future.


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After a mind blowing process and trying different ways, including 2 previous answers (Keith Hurley , Prrao) that doesn't work for me, I found my solution.

The zero (0) number in picture/table caption is because of a Heading1 style in previous line(s) without number. Maybe you have deleted the number of that line intentionally or accidently. It happens when you have two line heading with Heading1 style. For example:



In this case you should not use Heading1 style for your chapter subject (second line).

How to solve it:

  • Put your cursor on a text with Heading1 style.
  • Home ribbon\Editing\Select (dropdown menu)\Select Text With Similar Formatting
  • Look for selected line that has no number
  • Change the style of the lines that you found in previous step
  • Enjoy (!) the Caption auto numbering of the Microsoft Word.
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According to the previous solution (Emami), Using Shift+Enter to write the second line of Heading1 style, has been found.

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I spent hours on this. My issue was I had added a "title" that said Chapter 1 above my heading 1 which was formatted with the various levels. As soon as I deleted the fancy title placed above my heading 1 in the document things worked fine. I did have to update the figure to get the new numbering to come in.

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Another scenario that can cause the same issue is a simple format issue. I use the headings feature to identify my chapter/sections/paragraphs etc. The issue occurs when the "normal" text beneath a numbered paragraph picks up the heading format (instead of normal text).

Example: 5. Paragraph Normal text.... 5.1 Sub-Paragraph Text identified as the heading style Figure

Figure 5.1: Name of Image

The solution to resolve this issue is to check all text contained in your paragraphs to ensure that Headings are only used where they are intended and all other text is normal etc.

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