Office Q&A: How to get the style you want in Word

Microsoft Word’s built-in styles aren’t providing two TechRepublic readers the results they want. One situation requires a work-around; the other requires modifying the style.

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Two TechRepublic readers contacted me about Microsoft Word style problems this month: Matt wants to remove the caption label from the table of contents, and Howard doesn’t like the default formatting for comments. Both problems are easily solved but not in the same way.

I’ll show you a work-around that removes caption labels when figures are included in a table of contents and how to alter the comment styles (there’s more than one). You’ll also learn how to link a custom style to a table of contents when you don’t want to rely solely on the built-in heading styles.

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I’m using Office 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but you can work with earlier versions. Neither solution is appropriate for the browser version. You can work with your own data or download the demonstration .docx and .doc files. This article assumes you know how to insert pictures and create a caption in Word.

How to hide caption labels in table of contents in Word

Matt has a lot of figures in a document, and they all start with the word Figure inserted by Word’s caption feature. Unfortunately, the word Figure also shows up in the table of contents; he wants to remove that word from the table of contents. There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye, so let’s start at the beginning.

Figure A shows the default table of contents for our simple demonstration document. As you can see, the figures aren’t part of the table of contents. If you use the caption feature to insert the caption, Word applies the Caption style, which isn’t included by default in a table of contents. (To add a caption, right-click the picture and…