Am I missing something obvious, or is \captionof not supposed to work in a \makebox? I have tried \protect, \MakeRobustCommand, among others.


I receive this error:

! Missing \endgroup inserted.
<inserted text> 
l.4     \makebox{\captionof{figure}{X}}
  • Maybe helpful tex.stackexchange.com/a/222516/124842.
    – Bobyandbob
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 12:09
  • 2
    You can place it in a \parbox. Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 12:27
  • 1
    Yes you can. Though I wonder what added benefit wrapping the \parbox in a \makebox provides that the bare \parbox does not? Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 12:59
  • 1
    You might find \abovecaptionskip=0pt useful. Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 13:53
  • 1
    @StevenB.Segletes I use a hacky combination of three boxes, see tex.stackexchange.com/a/367225/30810. If that could be simplified, I would like that, but I haven't found shorter a solution yet.
    – bers
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


\makebox provides a horizontal box for content and therefore has difficulty coping with vertical content. In particular, \captionof eventually calls \@makecaption to set the actual caption. This starts and ends with vertical skips inserted via \vskip \abovecaptionskip and \vskip \belowcaptionskip. \vskips within a \makebox causes the problem:


\mbox{\vspace{10pt}}% Acceptable...


\mbox{\vskip 10pt}% Problematic...


The above code snippet highlights the background legwork performed by \vspace in order to accommodate for non-vertical-mode skipping.

On the other hand, \parbox (and minipage, say) provide the option to incorporate horizontal and vertical content. So, if you want to place \captionof in a box, place it in a box that can manage its content, like a \parbox.

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