How to create captions for equations

Word 2016
When you add formulas to your document, it may need to add captions - auto-numbered on the same line as equation right justified. It is easy to add captions for the equation:
Formula with caption in Word 365

To add cations for equations in your document, do the following:

   1.   When you type an equation (see how to create different equations for more details), at the end of it, type the symbol Hash (#) and then the number in a format that you prefer (usually in the round brackets, in parentheses).

For example:

Formula with hash and number in Word 365

   2.   Press Enter.

Word automatically aligns the equation with the center, and the number after the character # positions with the right justify:

Formatted formula with number in Word 365

To add automatically updated numbering (captions):

   3.   Position anywhere in the document, not in the equation.

   4.   On the Reference tab, in the Captions group, click the Insert Caption button:

Insert Caption in Word 365

   5.   In the Caption dialog box:

  • In the Label drop-down list, select Equation,
  • Check the Exclude label from caption checkbox:
    The Caption dialog box in Word 365
  • If needed, change the numbering by clicking the Numbering... button:

    In the Caption Numbering dialog box:

    • Select the numbering Format,
    • If it is necessary, check the Include chapter number check box and select the level of your heading and a separator.

      For example:

    The Caption Numbering dialog box in Word 365
  • If it is necessary, add a new label by clicking the New label... button.

    For example:

    The New Label button in the Caption dialog box in Word 365

    Note: It is possible to add parentheses in the caption for easier formatting with equation numbering:

    To add the parentheses to the number, do the following:

    1. Click the New Label... button and insert an opening parenthesis and click OK:
      The New Label dialog box in Word 365
    2. After adding a number in the format that you prefer (for example with heading 2 and separator period), type space and a closing parenthesis:
      Example of the label in Word 365

   6.   Select the added caption, cut it, and paste instead of the number that you added after the symbol # in the equation:

Formulas with captions in Word 365


  1. To cut a selected text, click Ctrl+X or on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Cut button:
    Cut in Word 365
  2. To paste a cut text, click Ctrl+V or on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Paste button.
  3. To update the pasted number, right-click on it and select Update Field in the popup menu:
    Update Field in popup menu Word 365

    You can update all numbers automatically by selecting all text (by clicking Ctrl+A or by any other method) and right-clicking on any of the numbers and selecting Update Field in the popup menu.

See also this tip in French: Comment créer les numéros d'équations.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

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