## LaTeX forum ⇒ LaTeX Beginner's Guide ⇒ What happens if I put \label before \caption?

### What happens if I put \label before \caption?

In Chapter 7, Cross-Referencing, I read that the \label command has to be placed after the \caption command, not before.

What happens if I put \label before \caption?

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Stefan Kottwitz
Posts: 9880
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:44 pm

### What happens if I put \label before \caption?

\caption takes care of the figure counter that \label should ise. If \label comes before \caption, it takes some previous counter, which is wrong.

Let's look at this in this example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}
\section{Introduction}
\section{Figures}
\begin{figure}[hb]
\centering
\includegraphics[height=2cm,width=3cm]{example-image}
\label{fig:example}% before \caption, which is wrong
\caption{An example figure}
\end{figure}
\section{Appendix}
\begin{figure}[hb]
\centering
\includegraphics[height=2cm,width=3cm]{example-image}
\label{fig:other}% before \caption, which is wrong
\caption{Another example figure}
\end{figure}
% Now we get wrong reference numbers:
See example figure \ref{fig:example} and another figure \ref{fig:other}.
\end{document}

When we compile it, we get:

figures-labels.png (24.28 KiB) Viewed 1430 times

We can see that the references at the end are clearly wrong. If we take a closer look, we see that they refere to the section number, where they are in. Move \label after \caption, and the issue is fixed.

Stefan

Last bumped by Anonymous on Thu Oct 21, 2021 4:03 am.