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I need my figure and table captions to be of font size 8pt, how do I achieve this?

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. – yo' Nov 7 '14 at 18:13
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If you are using one of the standard classes (book, report, article) or a class compatible with the caption package, then you can declare your default font specification using \DeclareCaptionFont and then use this new declaration in \captionsetup:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{caption}

\DeclareCaptionFont{mysize}{\fontsize{8}{9.6}\selectfont}
\captionsetup{font=mysize}

\begin{document}

\begin{figure}
\centering
A
\caption{The caption of the figure will be typeset using \texttt{8pt} font size}
\end{figure}
Regular text.

\end{document}

The result:

enter image description here

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    what is the 9.6 that you have next to 8? – tilaprimera Nov 7 '14 at 18:37
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    @tilaprimera the value for the baselineskip (the vertical separation between two consecutive lines). – Gonzalo Medina Nov 7 '14 at 18:38

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