# How to place subfigure caption on the side?

Is there some way to tell subfig package to place subfigure captions to the left or to the right of subfigures? There is sidecap package which does it for the main captions, but it does not affect subfigure captions.

Or, if subfig does not have this options, which way to do it is the best? I tried to use tabular environment inside the figure, but there were some problems with alignment inside cells.

The subcaption package offers a command called \subcaption which typesets a sub-caption alone and has the same syntax as \caption. You can place this command where you want, i.e. also beside a figure.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{caption,subcaption}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}
\parbox[b]{.5\linewidth}{\Large
Insert picture here --
Insert picture here --
Insert picture here --
Insert picture here}%
\hspace{.1\linewidth}%
\parbox[b]{.4\linewidth}{%
\subcaption{This is just a short document to show that
we can place the sub-caption where we want to.}}
\caption{Main caption.}
\end{figure}
\end{document}

Furthermore the floatrow package offers stuff like that (and more).

• As far as I understand, subcaption package only allows you to tune style, but not the relative position of the subcaption. Jan 19, 2011 at 14:32
• No, that is not true. Since you can place the \subcaption where YOU want it, and because the sub-caption will be typeset where you have placed the \subcaption command, you have total control about its position. Will do some handicraft work right now... (Please hold the line...)
– user2574
Jan 19, 2011 at 19:39
• From your code, it seems that \subcaption by itself does not have options to control its position and one needs to use \parbox (whatever that is) to place it - is this correct? Nov 11, 2020 at 22:24

I found the solution with tabular environment, which is a bit messy, but works. It is based on this StackOverflow thread.

\def\imagetop#1{\vtop{\null\hbox{#1}}}

\begin{figure}
\begin{tabular}{l l}
\imagetop{\includegraphics{figure1.eps}} & \imagetop{(a)} \\
\imagetop{\includegraphics{figure2.eps}} & \imagetop{(b)}
\end{tabular}
\caption{Main caption.}
\end{figure}