A block of graphic or textual material that is identified as a “Figure”, usually bearing a caption and a label such as “Figure” or “Figure 3.”. 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.

Conversion Note: Tag unlabeled graphical objects 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 document, 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:

<abstract> Abstract; <ack> Acknowledgments; <app> Appendix; <app-group> Appendix Matter; <body> Body of the Book; <boxed-text> Boxed Text; <disp-quote> Quote, Displayed; <fig-group> Figure Group; <gloss-group> Glossary Group; <glossary> Glossary Elements List; <named-content> Named Special (Subject) Content; <notes> Notes; <p> Paragraph; <ref-list> Reference List (Bibliographic); <sec> Section; <trans-abstract> Translated Abstract

Tagged Example

<sec id="bid.36">
<title>Microbial Genomes</title>
<p>... A CON entry, containing instructions on how to 
put the pieces back together, is also made. The CON entry 
contains descriptor information, such as source organism 
and references, as well as a join statement providing 
explicit instructions on how to generate the complete 
genome from the pieces. The Accession number assigned to 
the CON record is also added as a secondary Accession 
number on each of the pieces that make up the complete 
genome (see <xref ref-type="fig" rid="bid.37">Figure 2</xref>).
<fig id="bid.37">
<caption><title>A GenBank CON entry for a complete 
bacterial genome.</title>
<p>The information toward the <italic>bottom</italic> of 
the record describes how to generate the complete genome 
from the pieces.</p>
<graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" 
xlink:href="ch1f2" mime-subtype="gif"/>