I have defined a conditional using the ifthen package as:

\newcommand{\Switch}[1] { \ifthenelse{\equal{#1}{1}}{Test1}{Test2} }

Running this command works without problem. However, if I try to place it within a Figure Caption, it produces an error (i.e., \Switch{1} and \caption{Example text} work fine, but \caption{\Switch{1}} does not).

Is this expected behavior? How do I work around it to produce a conditional caption?

3 Answers 3


The \ifthenelse command appears to be fragile? \caption{\protect\Switch{1}} works.


As a modern alternative, you can use the commands from the etoolbox package:


Or the xparse package:

\NewDocumentCommand \Switch { m } {
  \int_compare:nNnTF { #1 } = { \c_one } {
  } {
  • 2
    You don't like \int_compare:nTF { #1=1 }? No need for using the constant here (in fact, we shouldn't be promoting their use much, really). Commented Jan 3, 2011 at 16:31

The other solutions work, just adding this one for completeness. It also has the advantage of not needing \protect.

Declare your command as robust with:

\DeclareRobustCommand{\Switch}[1] { \ifthenelse{\equal{#1}{1}}{Test1}{Test2} }

You can now use \caption{\Switch{1}} just fine.

See this question for details about the difference between \newcommand and \DeclareRobustCommand.

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