# How can I label subfigures sequentially with positive integers across figures?

I want to label subfigures, across many figures, with sequential positive integers.

For example, the first figure may have two subfigures with label tags {fig1:subfig1} and {fig1:subfig2} and the second figure may have three subfigures with label tags {fig2:subfig1}, {fig2:subfig2}, and {fig2:subfig3}.

Then, when referencing these labels,

{fig1:subfig1}
{fig1:subfig2}
{fig2:subfig1}
{fig2:subfig2}
{fig2:subfig3}


would display as

1
2
3
4
5.


How can I do this using the subfigure package?

I didn't know how to use the subfig package yet. In the meantime, there is a MWE using the subfigure package.

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{subfigure}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\subfigure[subfigure A]{This is a figure. \label{label1}}
\subfigure[subfigure B]{This is a figure. \label{label2}}
\end{figure}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\subfigure[subfigure A]{This is a figure. \label{label3}}
\subfigure[subfigure B]{This is a figure. \label{label4}}
\subfigure[subfigure C]{This is a figure. \label{label5}}
\end{figure}

Tesing referencing labels: \ref{label1} \ref{label2} \ref{label3} \ref{label4}

Desired result: 1 2 3 4 5
\end{document}

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Welcome to TeX.sx! What package are you using for the sub-figures? A minimal working example (MWE) is always appreciated. – Martin Scharrer Jun 27 '11 at 15:36
Please add to your question a minimal working example illustrating how you are building your subfigures. – Gonzalo Medina Jun 27 '11 at 15:37
I am not sure how to use the subfig package. Every example I found is not a "minimal working example". Can you point me to one? – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 16:37
@Martin Scharrer @Gonzalo Medina is there a MWE of the subfig package? – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 19:02
@Tyson: Your above MWE does not include main captions. Are you sure you need subfigures? Or do you simply want to place two or three figures side-by-side? In the latter case simple use minipages which hold the figure content and a \caption. There can be multiple figures with captions in one figure environment. – Martin Scharrer Jun 27 '11 at 19:39

You need to disconnect the subfigure counter from the figure counter. This can be best done using the chngcntr package. It provides the \counterwithout{<counter>}{<parent counter>} macro for this and disconnects the <counter> from the original <parent counter>.

For the subfigure package you can use:

\usepackage{subfigure}% Actually replaced by subfig!
\usepackage{chngcntr}
\counterwithout{subfigure}{figure}


### Update:

The above seems to work only for the sub-caption numbers but not for the references. You could add an own counter which is increased using \refstepcounter which makes it the target of the following \label.

The following code works for me. I hope it is what you want.

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{subfigure}

\newcounter{mysubfig}
\newcommand{\mysubfig}[2][]{%
\subfigure[#1]{#2}%
\refstepcounter{mysubfig}%
}

\usepackage{chngcntr}
\counterwithout{subfigure}{figure}
\renewcommand{\thesubfigure}{(\arabic{subfigure})}

\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\mysubfig[mysubfig A]{This is a figure.}\label{label1}
\mysubfig[mysubfig B]{This is a figure.}\label{label2}
\caption{Main caption}\label{main1}
\end{figure}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\mysubfig[mysubfig A]{This is a figure.}\label{label3}
\mysubfig[mysubfig B]{This is a figure.}\label{label4}
\mysubfig[mysubfig C]{This is a figure.}\label{label5}
\caption{Main caption}\label{main2}
\end{figure}

Main figure still work? \ref{main1} \ref{main2}

Tesing referencing labels: \ref{label1} \ref{label2} \ref{label3} \ref{label4} \ref{label5}

Desired result: 1 2 3 4 5
\end{document}


Result:

-
Great. I updated the question with the package I am using to create subfigures. – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 15:47
@Tyson: About subfigure in general, see ftp.heanet.ie/pub/CTAN/tex/help/Catalogue/entries/…: "This package is now obsolescent: new users should use subfig instead." – Martin Scharrer Jun 27 '11 at 15:53
@Tyson: See my update. – Martin Scharrer Jun 27 '11 at 16:19
@Martin Scharrer This solution didn't work. The two subfigures in the first figure are correctly numbered 1 and 2, but the next subfigure in the next figured is numbered 23. – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 19:01
@Tyson: Without a MWE I couldn't test it myself. I will have a look on it. – Martin Scharrer Jun 27 '11 at 19:09

Not that the memoir class was specified, but in case it's useful to others, here's a MWE for multi-page figures with subfigures in memoir (I can't imagine another reason to not reset subfigure numbering when we get a new figure):

\documentclass[10pt,oneside]{memoir}

\newsubfloat{figure}

\begin{document}
\chapter{A Chapter}
The following figure (if it had real content) would be large
enough to require multiple pages. It is made of several subfigures,
labeled (a), (b), and (c). Though we have multiple figure environments,
the \verb|contsubbottom| command treats them as part of one logical
figure.
\begin{figure}
\centering
\subbottom[First Subfigure Caption]{
\framebox[0.9\textwidth]{Here's the content of a subfigure.}
\label{fig:ve_uw}
}
\\
\subbottom[Second Subfigure Caption]{
\framebox[0.9\textwidth]{Here's the content of a subfigure.}
\label{fig:ve_iw}
}
\caption{First Figure Caption}
\end{figure}
%
\clearpage
%
\begin{figure}
\centering
\contsubbottom[Third Subfigure Caption]{
\framebox[0.9\textwidth]{Here's the content of a subfigure.}
\label{fig:ve_eiw}
}
\contcaption{Continued}
\label{fig:ve}
\end{figure}
Since the previous figure has a subfigure on the top of this page,
we'll place this second figure anywhere *but* the top of the page.
\begin{figure}[hbp]
\centering
\framebox[0.9\textwidth]{Here's the content of another figure.}
\caption{Second Figure Caption}
\label{fig:second}
\end{figure}

\end{document}


Result:

-
This is not what I am asking. – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 18:58
is it possible to modify your answer to get the behavior I am looking for? – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 20:12
I'd say stick with Martin's version for now. The behavior you're looking for, as you had indicated, is very non-standard. If his reference implementation works in a MWE, but doesn't in your final document, then the real question is to figure out what other package or code is causing the difference. Starting with the MWE, start adding packages from your non-working document until the MWE stops working. That will narrow the problem down. – Mike Renfro Jun 27 '11 at 21:39

The caption package provides \ContinuedFloat also for this purpose:

\documentclass[a4paper]{book}
\usepackage{subfig}
\usepackage{caption}
\captionsetup[subfloat]{listofformat=subsimple}
\renewcommand{\thesubfigure}{\arabic{subfigure}}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}
\begin{document}
text

\begin{figure}[htp]
\centering
\subfloat[first]{\includegraphics[width=3cm]{x}\label{f}}
\subfloat[second]{\includegraphics[width=4cm]{x}\label{s}}
\caption{A figure}\label{full}
\end{figure}
\begin{figure}[htp]\ContinuedFloat
\centering
\subfloat[third]{\includegraphics[width=6cm]{x}\label{t}}
\caption{A figure (continued)}
\end{figure}

\subref{f}
\subref{s}
\subref{t}
\end{document}


-
@egreg Your solution does not work. See the following: \documentclass[a4paper]{book} \usepackage{subfig} \usepackage{caption} \begin{document} \begin{figure} \centering \subfloat[first]{This is a figure. \label{label1}} \qquad \subfloat[second]{This is a figure. \label{label2}} \caption{A figure} \end{figure} \begin{figure}\ContinuedFloat \centering \subfloat[third]{This is a figure. \label{label3}} \caption{A figure (continued)} \end{figure} Tesing referencing labels: \ref{label1} \ref{label2} \ref{label3} Desired result: 1 2 3 \end{document} – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 19:39
Yes, it works. Of course you have to modify the way the subfigure counter is represented and use \subref, not \ref. See edit. – egreg Jun 27 '11 at 19:58
@egreg When I compile your example, my last line is a b c, not 1 2 3. – Tyson Williams Jun 27 '11 at 20:11
I've forgotten the \renewcommand\thesubfigure{\arabic{subfigure}} line, sorry. – egreg Jun 27 '11 at 20:31
So you want (a) in the subcaption and 1 in the reference? That's absurd. – egreg Jun 27 '11 at 21:05

This answer is based on Martin Scharrer's but used the subfig package (as he and others recommended).

I have (eventually) figured out how to use the subfig package and I really like the solution it provides for this problem. Because myCounter is not related to the figure or subfigure counters, everything else works (and thus looks) "normal".

\documentclass[12pt]{article}

\usepackage{subfig}
\newcounter{myCounter}
\newcommand{\mySubfloat}[2][]{\subfloat[#1]{#2}\refstepcounter{myCounter}}

\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\mySubfloat[mysubfig A]{This is a figure.}\label{label1}
\mySubfloat[mysubfig B]{This is a figure.}\label{label2}
\caption{Main caption}\label{main1}
\end{figure}
\begin{figure}[ht]
\mySubfloat[mysubfig A]{This is a figure.}\label{label3}
\mySubfloat[mysubfig B]{This is a figure.}\label{label4}
\mySubfloat[mysubfig C]{This is a figure.}\label{label5}
\caption{Main caption}\label{main2}
\end{figure}

Main figure still work? \ref{main1} \ref{main2}

Tesing referencing labels: \ref{label1} \ref{label2} \ref{label3} \ref{label4} \ref{label5}

Desired result: 1 2 3 4 5
\end{document}


-