Caption of a Figure, Table, Etc.

Container element for the textual description that is associated with a <fig>, <table>, etc. This is the title and explanatory text for the figure or the description of the figure that prints or displays with the figure.

In print or on display, a caption is usually recognizable because it is not part of the ordinary text flow; it sits just under, above, beside, or in the same small window or page area as the tabular portions of the table or the graphical portions of the figure.


<caption> contains the entire, visible textual description of a table, figure, or similar object, but does not typically include the figure or table number, since this will typically be generated on display. If needed in the text, such numbers will be tagged as <label>s. The text of the caption includes any separately tagged <title> and as many paragraphs of information as needed. It may include legends, which are not identified as a separate element in this Suite.

Captions may just contain paragraphs of explanatory text (see example below) or a caption may contain an explicit title as well as text. The title is typically a short, pithy statement that acts as a heading and may be made typographically distinct, for example, set in bold or italics while the following paragraph is in roman.


content-type Type of Content
id Identifier
specific-use Specific Use
style Style (XHTML table model; MathML 2.0 Tag Set)
xml:lang Language

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  caption      %caption-model;                              >

Expanded Content Model

(title?, (p)*)


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<boxed-text>, <chem-struct-wrap>, <disp-formula-group>, <fig>, <supplementary-material>, <table-wrap>

Example 1

In a figure:

<p>We identified .... Details of randomization procedures, 
treatment schedules, and numbers of patients followed up 
are given on the <italic>BMJ</italic> website.</p>
<fig id="F1"> 
<caption><title>Deaths among patients receiving day hospital 
care or alternative services.</title><p>Odds ratios of death by 
end of follow up were calculated by fixed effects model. 
Heterogeneity between trials is presented as
<graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" 
xlink:href="fors2662.f1"  >

Example 2

In a table:

<table-wrap id="TN0.170"> 
<caption><p>Numbers of patients receiving institutional 
care at the end of scheduled follow up and use of hospital 
beds among those allocated to day hospital or alternative
<th colspan="3" align="center" rowspan="1">Institutional 
<th align="left"/> <th colspan="2" align="center"
rowspan="1">&#x2003;Bed use (days)</th>