Table and figure numbering

April 28, 2009

If you include tables and figures in your document should you:

  • number them all sequentially (e.g. Table 1 through Table 25; Figure 1 through Figure 39, etc.)?
  • include the chapter number in the table/figure number (e.g. Table 4-1, Table 4-2, Table 6-1; Figure 1-1, Figure 1-2, Figure 3-1, etc.)?
  • not number them at all?

The decision you make will depend on the requirements of the person or organization requesting the document, the style guide you have to follow for the document, the audience for your document (e.g. scientists and engineers may expect chapter numbers), and if none of those apply, your personal preference.

This article — The case for simple numbering — may help you make the decision in the absence of any prescribed style guide or directions from the ultimate owners of the document.

See also: Create an automated Table of Figures: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/word-2003-automated-tables-of-figures/

[Links last checked February 2012]


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