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Chicago Citation Guide, Author-Date and NB, 17E: Captions

A look at the two styles in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition.

Formatting Captions

  • An explanation of captions can be found starting at 3.21 (p.136+) in the CMOS 17E.

  • Captions should be capitalized using sentence case.

  • Captions appear outside, and usually below, the illustration.

  • Titles for paintings, drawings, photographs, statues, and books will be italicized and in title case.

  • Titles of articles, essays, and short poems are not in italics, but will be in quotation marks.

  • Commit to either full sentences with appropriate punctuation in the caption or incomplete sentences with no closing punctuation.

  • Illustration numbers (e.g., Figure 3, Plate 1) should be followed by a period, a space, then the caption.

  • If the text of your caption runs long, it should be single spaced.


ife of Chinese Emperors. Chinese art. Qing period Wall Art

Figure 3. Life of Chinese Emperors, Qing period


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