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I use a lot of subfigures in my thesis. What I realize now is that the captions between adjacent subfigures are very close together, which makes them hard to read.

My two questions are therefore:

(1) How can the default distance between two subfigures be increased?

or

(2) How can the default width of a subfigure caption be decreased?

Example code:

\usepackage{subfigure}
...
\begin{figure}[h!t]
\centering
\subfigure[long long caption]{
    \includegraphics{filename1}
}
\subfigure[another long caption]{
    \includegraphics{filename2}
}
\caption{two subfigures}
\end{figure}

Thx

share|improve this question
2  
How do you place them? Which package do you use to place them? Can you provide a small example code? –  percusse Aug 21 '12 at 8:50
    
Here the example code: \usepackage{subfigure} ... \begin{figure}[h!t] \centering \subfigure[long long caption]{ \includegraphics{filename1} } \subfigure[another long caption]{ \includegraphics{filename2} } \caption{two subfigures} \end{figure} –  Thomas Aug 21 '12 at 11:49
    
See this question before anything: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/13625/subcaption-vs-subfig –  percusse Aug 21 '12 at 11:51
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1 Answer

It depends that you use subfig, subfigure or subcaption. I read somewhere that subfig and subfigure are deprecated, but in any case, solution with subfigure package is self-explained in this MWE:

\documentclass[spanish,11pt]{article}
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

% Compare between loose and normal option in the fig. 1
% (see more options in the documentation)   
\usepackage[normal]{subfigure}
% \usepackage[loose]{subfigure}

% Compare fig. 1 and 2. subcaptions fixing this value
\subfigcapmargin = .5cm

% Fix these other commands as you want and see
% \subfigtopskip = 2cm
% \subfigcapskip = 2cm
% \subfigcaptopadj = 7cm % when caption is above
% \subfigbottomskip = 2cm
% \subfiglabelskip = 2cm

% See fig 3 to 6 examples of set distances 
% between subfigures 
% (there are not any space default, as far I know)

\begin{document}

\begin{figure}%
\centering
\subfigure[subcaption aa aa aa aa]{\framebox{... ... figure text ... ...}}
\subfigure[subcaption bb bb bb bb]{\framebox{... ... figure text ... ...}}
\caption[The caption]{The caption}
\end{figure}

\subfigcapmargin = .0cm

\begin{figure}%
\centering
\subfigure[subcaption aa aa aa aa]{\framebox{... ... figure text ... ...}}
\subfigure[subcaption bb bb bb bb]{\framebox{... ... figure text ... ...}}
\caption[The caption]{The caption}
\end{figure}


\begin{figure}%
%\centering
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}\hfill
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}
\caption[The caption]{The caption}
\end{figure}


\begin{figure}%
%\centering
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}\qquad
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}
\caption[The caption]{The caption}
\end{figure}

\begin{figure}%
\centering
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}
\hspace{3cm}
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}
\caption[The caption]{The caption}
\end{figure}


\begin{figure}%
\centering
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}
\\\hspace{5cm}\vspace{1cm}
\subfigure[subcaption]{\framebox{... figure text ...}}
\caption[The caption]{The caption}
\end{figure}


\end{document}

Probably a better(?) solution is to use subcaption package (not compatible with subfigure) as is or with some options, since spacing among subfigures are as in any other floats. Example:

        \documentclass{article}
        \usepackage{subcaption}
    \usepackage[margin=20pt,
font+=small,labelformat=parens,labelsep=space,
skip=6pt,list=false,hypcap=false
]{subcaption}
        \begin{document}

    \begin{figure}%
     \centering
            \begin{subfigure}[h]{0.3\textwidth}
                \framebox{... figure text ...}
                \caption{subcaption}
            \end{subfigure}
            \begin{subfigure}[h]{0.3\textwidth}
                \framebox{... figure text ...}
                \caption{subcaption}
            \end{subfigure}%

     \caption[The caption]{Subfigures with default space and too much margin in subcaptions}

    \end{figure}

    \begin{figure}%
     \centering
            \begin{subfigure}[h]{0.3\textwidth}
                \framebox{... figure text ...}
                \caption{subcaption}
            \end{subfigure}
            \hspace{0.3\textwidth}
            \begin{subfigure}[h]{0.3\textwidth}
                \framebox{... figure text ...}
                \caption{subcaption}
            \end{subfigure}%

     \caption[The caption]{Subfigures with extra space}

    \end{figure}

    \end{document} 

Similarly, with subfig package you can also control space between subfloats simply with commands as \qquad and also control many subcaptions options. See the documentation packages.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[margin=40pt]
{subfig}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}%
\centering
\subfloat[][subcaption aa aa aa ]{\framebox{... ... figure text ... ... }}%
\qquad 
\subfloat[][subcaption bb bb bb ]{\framebox{... ... figure text ... ... }}%
\caption{The caption}%
\label{fig:cont}%
\end{figure}
\end{document}
share|improve this answer
    
Take a look at the question I have linked above in the comments. –  percusse Aug 21 '12 at 12:21
    
Thanks, the \subfigcapmargin = .5cm works. –  Thomas Aug 21 '12 at 12:39
    
There's no reason why subfig should be deprecated. Of course it's alternative to subcaption. –  egreg Sep 2 '12 at 15:18
    
I dont know, @egreg, but from the TeX Catalogue in Line: This package [subfig] supersedes the subfigure package ... The functionality of the package is provided by the (more recent still) subcaption package. (I known... newer is not a solid reason, but ask to Google). –  Fran Sep 2 '12 at 16:23
    
subfig and subcaption are just two packages that do similar things with different approaches. –  egreg Sep 2 '12 at 16:52
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