How to Insert List of Tables in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Insert List of Tables in Word

Creating a list of tables in Microsoft Word can streamline your document, making it look more professional and organized. It’s like having a mini table of contents but specifically for tables. You can achieve this in just a few steps by using built-in features that Word provides. Let’s dive into the process and get you set up!

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Insert List of Tables in Word

In this guide, you’ll learn how to insert a list of tables in Word, which will automatically update as you add or remove tables from your document.

Step 1: Open Your Document

Open your Word document where you want to insert the list of tables.

Make sure your document is fully loaded and that you’re at the point where you want to add the list.

Step 2: Apply Table Captions

Select each table in your document, and go to the "References" tab. Click on "Insert Caption."

Each table needs a caption for it to appear in your list of tables. When you click "Insert Caption," a dialog box will appear allowing you to set your caption text and label.

Step 3: Create a List of Figures

Place your cursor where you want the list of tables to appear. Go back to the "References" tab and select "Insert Table of Figures."

This step is essential as it brings up the option to create a list of tables. Make sure "Table" is selected in the "Caption label" dropdown.

Step 4: Customize Your List

In the "Table of Figures" dialog box, you can customize how your list of tables will look. Click "OK" once you’re satisfied with the settings.

You can change things like the style and format of the table list, ensuring it matches your document’s aesthetics.

Step 5: Update the List of Tables

After adding or removing tables, right-click on the list of tables and choose "Update Field" to keep it current.

Updating ensures your list of tables reflects any changes you’ve made to the tables in your document.

After completing these steps, your document will have a neatly organized list of tables. This list will dynamically adjust as you make changes, ensuring your document remains up-to-date.

Tips for How to Insert List of Tables in Word

  1. Use Descriptive Captions: Make your captions informative to help readers understand the table contents quickly.
  2. Consistent Formatting: Keep the style and format of your captions and list consistent throughout the document.
  3. Placeholders for Future Tables: If you plan to add more tables later, consider placing placeholders to remind you to insert captions.
  4. Check for Updates: Frequently check and update the list of tables, especially before finalizing your document.
  5. Preview Before Finalizing: Use the "Print Preview" feature to see how the list of tables looks in the final layout.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I automatically update the list of tables?

You can automatically update the list by right-clicking on the list and selecting "Update Field."

Can I customize the appearance of the list of tables?

Yes, you can customize the style, format, and even the layout through the "Table of Figures" dialog box.

What if I delete a table?

If a table is deleted, you should update the list of tables to reflect this change by right-clicking and selecting "Update Field."

Can I add a list of tables in the middle of my document?

Yes, you can insert the list of tables anywhere in your document by placing the cursor at the desired location and following the steps.

What if the "Insert Table of Figures" is greyed out?

Ensure you have captions added to your tables. The option will be available once captions are present.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Apply table captions.
  3. Create a list of figures.
  4. Customize your list.
  5. Update the list of tables.


Inserting a list of tables in Word is a straightforward yet powerful way to enhance the readability and professionalism of your document. By following the steps outlined, you can ensure your document is well-organized. Remember to customize the list to fit the aesthetic of your document and to update it regularly to reflect any changes.

For those who frequently work with complex documents, mastering this skill can save you a lot of time and effort.

So, go ahead and add that list of tables to your document to make it shine! Happy writing!