Tagging Figures, Graphics

This Tag Set provides several elements related to still graphical images. The primary ones are:

A <fig> is an object that (usually) contains an image; <graphic> and <inline-graphic> represent the image.

Graphic, Inline

Used when the image should appear inline with surrounding text and there is no additional information associated with the graphic. A typical inline graphic might be a logo or a special math or chemistry symbol. (Note: If the image represents a special private character, the <private-char> element should be used instead.)


When there is an image in an article that has no associated information (title, caption, figure number, etc.), a <graphic> should be used rather than a <fig>. A <graphic> not inside a figure or table can contain several sub-elements, including <alt-text> and <long-desc>, which are especially important to enable access for visually-impaired users.


Used when the image has associated information, typically a figure number or caption. Some publishers consider the presence of a figure number definitive for a Figure (<fig>); others depend more on whether the image is to be listed in a List of Figures. Usually the two criteria match up, but there may be exceptions where numbered figures do not appear in the list, or vice-versa.

Many figures contain one or more graphics (<graphic>), but they may also contain a variety of display objects: formulas, chemical structures, poetry, tables, media objects, lists of material, simple paragraphs, or a mixture of these items and one or more graphics.

Here is a figure with three graphics inside. The figure has a title that applies to all the graphics. Each graphic has a separate caption (optional structure).

<fig id="fg-012">
  <caption><title>Three Perspectives on My Dog</title></caption>
  <graphic xlink:href="frontView.png">
   <caption><p>View A: From the Front, Laughing</p></caption>
  <graphic xlink:href="sideView.png">
   <caption><p>View B: From the Side, Best Profile</p></caption>
  <graphic xlink:href="motionView.png">
   <caption><p>View C: In Motion, A Blur on Feet</p></caption>

Here is a figure that contains no graphics at all, but encloses some bulleted items.

<fig id="fg-012">
  <caption><title>Show and Tell Order</title></caption>
  <list list-type="order" prefix-word="Test">
    <list-item><p>Persian Cat</p></list-item>
    <list-item><label>3.</label><p>Weaver Finches</p></list-item>

Note: Several other elements are also used for other types of display objects. See the specific elements for more information: <alternatives>, <boxed-text>, <chem-struct-wrap>, <disp-formula>, <disp-formula-group>, <media>, <preformat>, <private-char>, <supplementary-material>, and <table-wrap>.