# References to subfigures which appear more than once in the document not in right order

I have two figures A and B consisting of subfigures. Some subfigures appear in both of these figures. When I try to refer to the subfigures, the references appear in wrong order. For example:

\begin{document}

Figures \ref{fig:sub1}-\ref{fig:sub3} ...

\begin{figure}[H]
\centering
\begin{subfigure}{.5\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub1.png}
\caption{Sub 1.}
\label{fig:sub1}
\end{subfigure}
\begin{subfigure}{.5\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub2.png}
\caption{Sub 2.}
\label{fig:sub2}
\end{subfigure}
\begin{subfigure}{.5\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub3.png}
\caption{Sub 3.}
\label{fig:sub3}
\end{subfigure}
\end{figure}

\begin{figure}[H]
\begin{subfigure}{.5\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub4.png}
\caption{Sub 4.}
\label{fig:sub4}
\end{subfigure}
\begin{subfigure}{.5\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub1.png}  % <- appears second time
\caption{Sub 1.}
\label{fig:sub1}
\end{subfigure}
\begin{subfigure}{.5\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub5.png}
\caption{Sub 5.}
\label{fig:sub5}
\end{subfigure}
\end{figure}

\end{document}


produces "Figures 2b-1c ..."

How can I get the reference of sub1 to stay as Figure 1a, and not 2b?

• Welcome to TeX.SE. – Mico Jul 12 at 14:43

LaTeX has no direct way of "knowing" that the graph shown in the subfigure that's numbered "1a" gets repeated in the subfigure that's numbered "2b".

For sure, it's not a good idea to employ non-unique \label directives. LaTeX issues the warning message

LaTeX Warning: There were multiply-defined labels


when it encounters, well, multiply-defined labels.

To make it clear to your readers that you wish to cross-reference one and the same graph across two separate subfigure environments (labelled fig:sub1 and fig:sub1_rep, say), you may want to write

Figures \ref{fig:sub1} (also \ref{fig:sub1_rep}) and \ref{fig:sub3}, \dots


in the body of the document. And, to make it extra clear to your readers that the graphs are repeated deliberately, you could write something like \caption{Sub 1, repeated.} the second time the graph occurs.

\documentclass[demo]{article} % omit 'demo' option in real document
\usepackage{graphicx,subcaption}
\begin{document}

\noindent
Figures \ref{fig:sub1} (also \ref{fig:sub1_rep}) and \ref{fig:sub3}, \dots

\begin{figure}[h]
\begin{subfigure}{.3\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub1.png}
\caption{Sub 1.}
\label{fig:sub1}
\end{subfigure}\hfill
\begin{subfigure}{.3\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub2.png}
\caption{Sub 2.}
\label{fig:sub2}
\end{subfigure}\hfill
\begin{subfigure}{.3\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub3.png}
\caption{Sub 3.}
\label{fig:sub3}
\end{subfigure}
\caption{A group of three subfigures}
\end{figure}

\begin{figure}[h!]
\begin{subfigure}{.3\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub4.png}
\caption{Sub 4.}
\label{fig:sub4}
\end{subfigure}\hfill
\begin{subfigure}{.3\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub1.png} % <- appears second time
\caption{Sub 1, repeated.}
\label{fig:sub1_rep}
\end{subfigure}\hfill
\begin{subfigure}{.3\textwidth}
\includegraphics[width=\linewidth]{sub1.png}
\caption{Sub 5.}
\label{fig:sub5}
\end{subfigure}
\caption{Another group of three subfigures}
\end{figure}

\end{document}

• Thank you, that solved my problem! I don't know how I didn't realize it myself :) But the writing tips are also very useful. – Hessu Jul 13 at 7:10