Introduction to Creating Captions for Microsoft Office Images

Captions for images are a text description displayed with the main content. Captions take alternative texts a step further by including content about the image, while explaining the context of the image.  Captions are available to sighted and non-sighted people, allowing for a great amount of access to information about the image.

What are some images needing captions?

  • For an image which requires context to understand. These types of images would include pictures of geographic locations, portraits of people, graphs, etc.
  • Images requiring additional or supporting information. Images which present symbols, complex shapes, or signs. This will provide additional information about not only what the symbol or sign is, but also what the meaning behind them are.
  • Complex Images. This might include images that express complex emotions or busy images such as a downtown intersection.
  • Images where you are already adding a long description.  Long descriptions are used when the character limit of alternative text is not long enough.  Despite the additional character (letter) length of long descriptions, not all programming languages or website browsers fully support long descriptions.  By adding captions, you ensure all audiences have access to the information provided about the image.

The Basics of Adding Captions to a Microsoft Word Document


Note: For Mac users: ‘Right-click’ by clicking with two fingers on the mouse pad; substitute ‘Command (?)’ for ‘CTRL.’

  1. Right-Click the desired image; a drop-down menu will appear.
  2. Select Wrap Text
  3. Select Tight:
    • Note: this will adjust the layout of your document. Do not move the picture. The following steps will reformat your document with minimal, if any, adjustments needed.
  4. Right-Click the desired image; a drop-down menu will appear.
  5. Select Insert Caption option; a window titled ‘Caption’ will appear in front of the text.
  6. Type the caption of the image in the ‘Caption’ line.
    • Be sure to select the appropriate label for the image: ‘Figure’ for images, ‘Equations’ for mathematics, and ‘Table’ for charts and graphics.
  7. Select the position of the caption (i.e. below or above the image).
  8. Click OK
  9. Hold the CTRL Keyclick the image and the caption to select them both.
    • Note: there should be a box around the caption as well as around the image.
  10. Right-Click the image; a drop-down menu will appear.
  11. Select Group; this links the caption to the image as one item.
  12. Right-Click the desired image; a drop-down menu will appear.
  13. Select Wrap Text
  14. Select In Line with Text
  15. Adjust the layout as needed

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