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I have a large figure (> 50% of a page) and a large caption to describe it (also >50% of page). How do I put the caption on a separate page?

This is discussed in several forums, but apparently not on tex.stackexchange. Since I came up with a simple but functional hack, I thought I'd post it as an answer to this question along with links to more involved solutions like the experimental fltpage package.

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Why don't make a shorter caption and put the detail in the document body? –  I am who I say I am Apr 25 '12 at 17:04
1  
@Moderator I agree that if it's possible, it's best to keep the captions concise. However, in some cases the diagrams are quite detailed and they require extensive explanation. It's preferable to keep this explanation in a carefully identified region (the caption). –  Jess Riedel Apr 25 '12 at 17:09
    
@Jake I am using the \caption command but not the caption package. My figure is in a float. –  Jess Riedel Apr 25 '12 at 17:15
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@JessRiedel Nice hack, but not very useful. Normally in this situation the images(s) are on say even pages and the captions on the odd, i.e. when you open the book you need to be able to see both the image and the caption without turning the page. But please post your full solution + page image. –  Yiannis Lazarides Apr 25 '12 at 18:20
    
The »fltpage« package might be your friend here. –  Thorsten Donig Apr 25 '12 at 19:05
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

As Thorsten already mentioned, the fltpage package might be useful here:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}
\usepackage[CaptionAfterwards]{fltpage}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}
\begin{FPfigure}
  \centering
  \includegraphics[width=\textwidth,height=\textheight]{figure.pdf}
  \caption{Caption goes here.}
  \label{figurelabel}
\end{FPfigure}
\lipsum
\end{document}

(Please note that currently the fltpage package does not work well with hyperref, at least if you don't use the caption package additionally.)

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I'm happy to accept this answer since many people may find it useful. Personally, the fltpage package (which is experimental) did not work for me after about an hour of tracking down one mysterious error after another. –  Jess Riedel May 14 '12 at 16:48
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The ccaption package provides continued captions via \contcaption:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}% http://ctan.org/pkg/graphicx
\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
\usepackage{ccaption}% http://ctan.org/pkg/ccaption
\begin{document}
\section{A section}
\lipsum[1-10]
\begin{figure}[t]
  \centering
  \fbox{\includegraphics[height=.6\textheight]{tiger}}
  \caption{(Continued on the following page.)}% First caption
  \label{fig:tiger}
\end{figure}
\begin{figure}[t]
  \contcaption{\lipsum[1-2]}% Continued caption
\end{figure}
\lipsum[11-15]
\end{document}

It effective does what you suggest:

\addtocounter{\@captype}{\m@ne}% Add -1 to float counter
\refstepcounter{\@captype}% Step and mark float counter
% ...and the rest

Note though that continuous captions could cause problems when used in conjunction with hyperref.

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The easiest method I came up with is to break up the caption into a second figure and use the \addtocounter command to make sure the caption has the same figure number

\begin{figure} [b!]
  \centering 
  \includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{figure.pdf}
  \caption{(Caption next page.)}
  \label{figurelabel}
\end{figure}
\addtocounter{figure}{-1}
\begin{figure} [t!]
  \caption{(Previous page.) Caption goes here.}%missing
\end{figure}

Notes:

  • I included "(Caption next page.)" as the \caption{} attached to the actual figure and prefixed the true caption with "(Previous page.)".

  • I used the [b!] and [t!] options for figure and caption, respectively. This isn't necessary, but it makes sure they are as close as possible to each other within the document.

Drawbacks:

  • LaTeX will not automatically make sure that the caption is on the page immediately after the figure.

  • The caption will not be "reattached" to the figure if the caption is made short enough to fit on the same page (which would be nice LaTeX best practices).

  • As Yiannis Lazarides notes, the figures would ideally appear on odd pages and captions would appear after them on even pages, so you can always see both at the same time. This hack doesn't ensure that happens.

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