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2.4.2 Floats

Figures and tables (i.e., floats) may also be inserted using AUCTeX. After choosing either ‘figure’ or ‘table’ in the environment list described above, you will be prompted for a number of additional things.

float position

This is the optional argument of float environments that controls how they are placed in the final document. In LaTeX this is a sequence of the letters ‘htbp’ as described in the LaTeX manual. The value will default to the value of LaTeX-float.


This is the caption of the float. The default is to insert the caption at the bottom of the float. You can specify floats where the caption should be placed at the top with LaTeX-top-caption-list.

short caption

If the specified caption is greater than a specific length, then a short caption is prompted for and it is inserted as an optional argument to the ‘\caption’ macro. The length that a caption needs to be before prompting for a short version is controlled by LaTeX-short-caption-prompt-length.


The label of this float. The label will have a default prefix, which is controlled by the variables LaTeX-figure-label and LaTeX-table-label.

Moreover, you will be asked if you want the contents of the float environment to be horizontally centered. Upon a positive answer a ‘\centering’ macro will be inserted at the beginning of the float environment.

User Option: LaTeX-float

Default placement for floats.

User Option: LaTeX-figure-label

Prefix to use for figure labels.

User Option: LaTeX-table-label

Prefix to use for table labels.

User Option: LaTeX-top-caption-list

List of float environments with top caption.

User Option: LaTeX-short-caption-prompt-length

Number of chars a caption should be before prompting for a short caption.

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