A block of graphic or textual material that is identified as a “Figure”, usually bearing a caption. A <fig> is defined as an element that would appear in the Table of Figures, if there were one.


The content of a <fig> need not be graphical in nature; the content of a <fig> may be a graphic, a list, several paragraphs, an equation, a display quote, a table, etc., or a mixture of several of these.

The position attribute may be used to indicate whether this element must be anchored at its exact location within the text or whether it may float, for example, to the top of the next page, into the next column, to the end of a logical file, or within a separate window.

Tag graphical objects which should not have any generated label (such as "Figure 1") as <graphic>s rather than <fig>s. A common test to determine whether an object is a <fig> versus a <graphic> is to ask, “If there were a ‘List of Figures’ for this article, should this object appear in that list?”


fig-type Type of Figure
id Identifier
position Position
xml:lang Language

Model Information

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  fig          %fig-model;                                   >


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<app> Appendix; <body> Body of the Article; <boxed-text> Boxed Text; <named-content> Named Special (Subject) Content; <p> Paragraph; <sec> Section

Tagged Example

<sec sec-type="results">
<p>We identified 703 abstracts, of which 687 were not 
relevant ... Details of randomisation procedures, 
treatment schedules, and numbers of patients followed 
up are given on the <italic>BMJ</italic> website.</p>
<fig id="F1">
<p>Deaths among patients receiving day hospital care 
or alternative services. Odds ratios of death by end 
of follow up were calculated by fixed effects model. 
Heterogeneity between trials is presented as 
<alt-text>Deaths in hospitals or with alternative services</alt-text>
<graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" 
xlink:href="fors2662.f1" alt-version="yes">