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I want to reduce the space between two subfigures and use that space to make those subfigures large. How to do that? My code is as follows:

\begin{figure}[htp]
  \centering
  \subfigure[1a]{\label{fig1:a}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{./fig1a.eps}}\hfill
  \subfigure[1b]{\label{fig1:b}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{./fig1b.eps}}
  \label{fig1}
\end{figure}
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Assuming that the \hfill is there to place the figures towards either side of the margin, you can just make them bigger. The \hfill should auto adjust. –  Peter Grill Jan 31 '12 at 19:53
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4 Answers

Consider the following minimal example that shows three different ways of spacing sub-figures:

  1. Maximum length
  2. Equal lengths
  3. Fixed length

Different lengths separating subfigures

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{showframe,subfigure,graphicx}% http://ctan.org/pkg/{showframe,subfigure,graphicx}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[htp]
  % Maximum length
  \subfigure[1a]{\label{fig1:a}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{example-image-a}}\hfill%
  \subfigure[1b]{\label{fig1:b}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{example-image-a}}%

  \bigskip

  % Equal length
  \hspace*{\fill}%
  \subfigure[2a]{\label{fig2:a}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{example-image-b}}\hfill%
  \subfigure[2b]{\label{fig2:b}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{example-image-b}}%
  \hspace*{\fill}%

  \bigskip

  % Fixed length
  \centering
  \subfigure[3a]{\label{fig3:a}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{example-image-c}}\hspace{1em}%
  \subfigure[3b]{\label{fig3:b}\includegraphics[width=1.6in]{example-image-c}}
\end{figure}

\end{document}​

The showframe package was loaded to highlight the text block boundaries. Note the use of % for precise spacing. See What is the use of percent signs (%) at the end of lines? for more on this.

  1. Maximum length: Here a stretchable length of \hfill is used to push both subfigures to the edges of the text block. Note the % at the end of the second subfigure, if you're placing content on the following line.
  2. Equal lengths: A stretchable length is placed on either side of the subfigures to equalize the length from the text block boundary as well as between the subfigures. Note the use of \hspace*{\fill} on either side of the subfigures, while \hfill suffices between them.
  3. Fixed length: Use a fixed \hspace{<len>} between the subfigures, together with \centering to centre and separate the subfigures by a fixed distance <len> (1em in my example).

Some comments: Only method 3 (fixed length) requires \centering, unless you're also providing a figure caption (which you didn't in your code snippet. Moreover, using \label without a \caption does not help here. It works within \subfigure, since it writes a caption, but you would still need a separate \caption for your figure environment for \label{fig1} to yield anything.

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use a relative width:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{showframe}% only for demo
\usepackage{subfig}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}% [demo] only for demo
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[!htp]
  % Maximum length
  \subfloat[1a]{\label{fig1:a}\includegraphics[width=0.49\linewidth]{fig1a}}\hfill
  \subfloat[1b]{\label{fig1:b}\includegraphics[width=0.49\linewidth]{fig1b}}%
\end{figure}

\end{document}​

enter image description here

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In my case, the subfig package introduces a default space of a little less than 1em between two figures. I still need them tight, as the two figures correspond in major features, so I found it helpful to tweak the spacing with negative horizontal space as well.

\documentclass[draft]{article}
\usepackage{subfig}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[htbp]
    \centering
    \subfloat[Subfigure caption 1.]{
        \includegraphics[width=0.75\textwidth] {img1.png}
        \label{fig:img1} } \hspace*{-0.9em}
    \subfloat[Subfigure caption 2.]{
        \includegraphics[width=0.25\textwidth] {img2.png}
        \label{fig:img2} } \\
    \caption{Two corresponding images.}
    \label{fig:img}
\end{figure}
\end{document}
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This could be due to a spurious space within the \subfloat command. See What is the use of percent signs at the end of lines? –  Werner Nov 9 '12 at 22:13
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To use all the space available remove the hfill (or keep it, it doesn't really change) and set a relative width .49/textwidth. You may actually want to try a slightly lower value to leave some space between them.

\begin{figure}[htp]
  \centering
  \subfigure[1a]{\label{fig1:a}\includegraphics[width=.49/textwidth]{./fig1a.eps}}
  \subfigure[1b]{\label{fig1:b}\includegraphics[width=.49/textwidth]{./fig1b.eps}}
  \label{fig1}
\end{figure}
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