Say you have a figure in your org-mode file like the following one:

#+NAME: fig:first-figure
#+CAPTION: Some caption
This is a figure.

This is exported to LaTeX code where \label is put inside the argument of \caption:

This is a figure.
Some caption}

However, this may cause problems in some templates such that the references to the figure will be ill-formed. This can be repaired by putting the \label command outside and after \caption:

This is a figure.
\caption{Some caption}

Right now, I'm using macros to achieve this in the LaTeX file, but this doesn't feel right...

How can I adjust the export routine to change the order of \label and \caption?

1 Answer 1


I've met the same problem. The only way I've found is to redefine the function that handles that part of the export and to put it as a emacs-lisp source block at the beginning of my org file.

Here is what I did:

(defun org-latex--caption/label-string (element info)
  "Return caption and label LaTeX string for ELEMENT.

INFO is a plist holding contextual information.  If there's no
caption nor label, return the empty string.

For non-floats, see `org-latex--wrap-label'."
  (let* ((label (org-latex--label element info nil t))
     (main (org-export-get-caption element))
     (attr (org-export-read-attribute :attr_latex element))
     (type (org-element-type element))
     (nonfloat (or (and (plist-member attr :float)
                (not (plist-get attr :float))
               (and (eq type 'src-block)
                (not (plist-get attr :float))
                (null (plist-get info :latex-listings)))))
     (short (org-export-get-caption element t))
     (caption-from-attr-latex (plist-get attr :caption)))
     ((org-string-nw-p caption-from-attr-latex)
      (concat caption-from-attr-latex "\n"))
     ((and (not main) (equal label "")) "")
     ((not main) label)
     ;; Option caption format with short name.
      (format (if nonfloat "\\captionof{%s}%s{%s}\n%s"
          (let ((type* (if (eq type 'latex-environment)
                   (org-latex--environment-type element)
        (if nonfloat
            (cl-case type*
              (paragraph "figure")
              (image "figure")
              (special-block "figure")
              (src-block (if (plist-get info :latex-listings)
              (t (symbol-name type*)))
          (if short (format "[%s]" (org-export-data short info)) "")
          (org-export-data main info)

The original function is on the ox-latex.el file of the org-mode package, if you want to have a look. What I've modified are the lines with "\caption" and "\captionof" and I've inverted the position of the two last elements. Hope this works for you.

  • This is great! I think it's very small change that is strictly an improvement on the current code. Please consider contirbuting this to Org, you can start by writing to the Org mailing list.
    – Omar
    Jul 5, 2019 at 13:15
  • @Omar I agree. I don't see why \label needs to be inside \caption.
    – Timm
    Jul 6, 2019 at 14:41

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