12 October 2011

Captions

The Rackham dissertation requirements state that "at least" the first sentence of all figure captions must appear in the "List of figures" at the beginning of the thesis. I follow the stylistic convention of having a brief description of the figure as the first sentence, and a sometimes lengthy elaboration afterward. It is unwieldy to have a paragraph of explanatory text appear in the index at the beginning, so I've been using the \caption[as it appears in index]{as it appears on the page} feature of LaTeX captions to have only the first sentence show in the index. To prevent the duplication of text, and to comply with the requirement that the first sentence must exactly match, I wrote the following simple but very useful LaTeX macro:

\newcommand{\Caption}[2]{\caption[#1]{#1#2}}

Now, I can write my caption as \Caption{Cross-sections in my test problem.}{Light regions have $\sigma=1$.} without having to manually duplicate the first sentence.

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