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Is it possible to globally alter the way figure captions are rendered? For example, I might want to wrap all captions in \textit to better distinguish captions from regular text.

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

Yes, please use the caption package. For instance, to italicize the Figure/Table identifier, use the following line:

\usepackage[labelfont=it]{caption}

To italicize the entire caption, use the following line:

\usepackage[font=it]{caption}

To use bold font rather than italics, use bf. To use bold and italics simultaneously, use {bf,it} or {it,bf}. You can monospace with tt, remove serifs with sf, or ensure serifs with rm. See this page for further font attributes that you might wish to set. Please consult Chapter 2 of the caption package documentation for further options that can be set to effect caption customization.

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Thanks, the result looks nice! –  Pieter Feb 16 '12 at 11:39
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