# Placing figures/tables side-by-side (\subfigure)

Remark:
The subfigure package has been replace by subfig and is therefore obsolete. Please see my post on that topic.

There are two different ways to place two figures/tables side-by-side. The subfigure package provides functionality to arrange figures and tables next to each other, within the usual figure-floating-environment. You can find a post on the minipage-environment here, behaving differently compared a subfigure, but is also used within a floating environment.

Subfigure is a package, therefore the first thing you need to do is add the package to your Latex-document.

\usepackage{subfigure}

Once the package is included, you can start using the environment.

Here is a complete example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{subfigure}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\centering
\subfigure[Caption of subfigure 1]{
\rule{4cm}{3cm}
\label{fig:subfig1}
}
\subfigure[Caption of subfigure 2]{
\rule{4cm}{3cm}
\label{fig:subfig2}
}
\subfigure[Caption of subfigure 3]{
\rule{4cm}{3cm}
\label{fig:subfig3}
}
\caption[Optional caption for list of figures]{Caption of subfigures \subref{fig:subfig1}, \subref{fig:subfig2} and \subref{fig:subfig3}}
\label{fig:subfigureExample}
\end{figure}
Reference to figure \ref{fig:subfigureExample}.
\end{document}

If the horizontal margins are exceeded, Latex will automatically place the sub-figure onto the next line.

Subfigure differs from minipage in that you cannot choose the space between two figures, but it is determined automatically, depending on the figure size. There is also a lower limit, whereas using minipage, you can theoretically place your figures directly side-by-side. By default, subfigure will alphabetically number your subfigures and you have access to the comlete reference as usual through \ref{fig:subfig1} or to the letter only through \subref{fig:subfig1}. The optional caption of a subfigure will be placed next to the letter. As usual, a caption can be added to the complete figure.

Subtables can be used in the very same way, just replace the \subfigure by \subtable for each table you want to place horizontally. See here for an introduction on tables. The tabular environment is sufficient, as basically the table environment is replace by subtable.

Remark: Even though not very nice, you can even place sub-figures next to sub-tables.

#### 30 Responses to “Placing figures/tables side-by-side (\subfigure)”

• Floating text around figure/table « Blog on Latex Matters

[...] page. Even though you can have several figures/tables next to each other (see posts on minipage and subfigure), with none of these techniques it is possible to have floating text around a figure or [...]

• Josiah Yoder

Thanks for the example — it was very helpful! It seems like there is a small typo, however, in the placement of “\label{fig:subfigureExample}”. To be able to use it like “See Figure \ref{fig:subfigureExample}”, it should be in the \caption{} block.

• Pandammonium: blogs [pandammonia]

[...] This is exactly what I wanted to find yesterday. Why didn’t Google find it for me then? I happened across it when looking at this post on side-by-side tables. [...]

• siva

HI,
Can you give an example of side by side tables.
Cheers,
siva

• tom

Hi Siva,

Check out my post on minipages, there is an example on how to place tables sid-by-side:
http://texblog.wordpress.com/2007/08/01/placing-figurestables-side-by-side-minipage/

Cheers,
Tom

• ondra

Hi,

it seems to me that the subfigure package is obsolete and is replaced by the subfig.

Best regards, Ondra

• Carlos

Hey….just want to say thanks for the info…it help me a lot

• Seamus

I was just wondering whether there is a way of globally specifying that the two side by side figures should take up x inches horizontally, or \linewidth or whatever? Rather than specifying the sizes of the figures separately…

• tom

Hi Seamus,

I am not sure about whether you can specifiy the width globally, but you can always use a relative size of course as you proposed:

\includegraphics[width=0.45\textwidth]{figure1.jpg}

Tom

• Giuseppe

Hi,
I have a structure of this kind

\begin{table}[htbp]
\centering
\subtable[subcatpion1]{
\begin{tabular}{c|c|c}
\hline\hline
...
\end{tabular}
}
\subtable[subcaption2]{
\begin{tabular}{c|c|c}
\hline\hline
...
\end{tabular}
}
\caption{global caption}\label{label of figure}
\end{table}

and I would like to have the subcaptions below the subtables, but latex
puts them above. Do you know how to do it?
Thanks,

Giuseppe

• tom

Hi Giuseppe,

I assume you are using the “subfigure” package as I proposed. In the mean-time this package became obsolete and was replaced by the “subfig” package.
I think with the new package, captions are below the figure/table by default, but you can tell Latex to print them below (and similarly above) as follows:

\usepackage{caption}
\usepackage[position=below]{subfig}

The caption package is needed for the option to be recognized by Latex. Also, apparently you have to replace “subtable” with “subfloat”.
You might be interested in the complete documentation of the package.

Btw. you probably know, the table option you are using (htbp) does not make much sense (here/top/bottom/page). Usually, one would use something like ht to tell Latex to flush the floating environment content either on this page is there is enough space or on top of the next page.

Cheers,
Tom.

• Seamus

Hi I have another question.

Is it possible to have a figure aligned to the side and have text wrap around it? i.e. I want to have a figure on the left, but instead of another figure on the right half, I want the main body of my text to flow around it. Is that possible?

Thanks.

• Seamus

I have found an answer to my own question: You can use the wrapfig package to do what I want. However, it doesn’t float, so you have to be careful where you use it. (i.e. it puts the picture where you tell it to, rather than where it would look best. This can lead to weird stuff happening if you try and include a figure near the very bottom of the page) Any advice on a similar effect that floats would be appreciated.

• Graham

Just to reitterate a previous comment, in the main figure (float) environment, you need to place \label{} AFTER \caption{}, otherwise any \ref{} to the whole figure rather than an individual subfigure will return the section number.

This point is made in the Wikibook: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Floats,_Figures_and_Captions#Labels_and_Cross-referencing

• Eoin

Hi,

Great blog, thanks for that.

I was wondering whether you or anyone else reading this might have tried putting text inside subfigures. As in, rather than including a graphic, have \texttt or even plain text as the content of the subfigure.

I’m trying to do this and \subfigure decides that \\ and \newline shouldn’t work inside it.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Eoin

• roger ruby gems rdocs

Thanks for your post–I come back to it every time I need to do subfigures.
-rp

• groupie

Is it possible to put figures and tables next to eachother. Like a picture to the left and a table to the right next to it???

I hope someone can help ..

• Joan Sola

Nice post. I found the minipage solution better. You forgot to mention a crucial difference: the minipage solution places two independent figures side-biside, with independent numbering and captioning. The subfigure makes a single figure with sibfigures in it. Sometimes this does not matter, but if both figures have little in common it would be odd to place them in a single figure and two independent figures would then be better.

So, sumarizing, this is what you get:

subfigure solution:

(a) (b)
Figure 1

minipage solution:

Figure 1 Figure 2

• Kristi

@Joan Thanks for clarifying. That is a useful tip.

• chandan

Is it possible to remove the alphabetic numbering and keep only the captions in the subfigure?

• tom

Hi Chandan,

If you are using the subfigure package, try:

\renewcommand{\thesubfigure}{\relax}

The relax command does actually nothing.
For the subfig package, use:

\usepackage[labelformat=simple]{subfig}

Cheers, Tom

• chandan

Thank you very much for the quick reply..Helped me a lot

• savan

can I put two logo images one at left side of page and another at right side of page in same line ?

• tom

Hi Savan,

You can use the \hfill command. Assuming you want to display the two logos in your header, you’ll find a minimal example below:

\documentclass[11pt, twoside]{report}
\usepackage{fancyhdr, graphicx}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\pagestyle{fancy}
\begin{document}
\Blindtext
\end{document}


It works similarly within text using:

\includegraphics{logo1}\hfill\includegraphics{logo2}

Cheers, Tom.

• Karolis

There is a small bug in the code. \label for the whole figure has to go after caption, not before. Otherwise, referencing to the whole figure does not work.

That is:

\caption[Optional caption for list of figures]{Caption of subfigures \subref{fig:subfig1}, \subref{fig:subfig2} and \subref{fig:subfig3}}
\label{fig:subfigureExample}

\label{fig:subfigureExample}
\caption[Optional caption for list of figures]{Caption of subfigures \subref{fig:subfig1}, \subref{fig:subfig2} and \subref{fig:subfig3}}