# [texhax] naming of figures after \ref{} order

Philip G. Ratcliffe philip.ratcliffe at uninsubria.it
Fri Feb 6 12:04:54 CET 2004

> > > I set my figures and tables to be numbered continously but
> > > realized that the order of the figures/tables assigns the
> > > number and not the position of the \ref{} in the text. So when I
> > > \ref{} on the first page several big figure which I put
> > > in a separate section but add one figure right on the first page
> > > even when named at last it is labelled fig. 1.
> > > Neither in the FAQ nor google prompted an appropriate result
> > > concerning this problem. I would appreciate if you
> > > point me to the correct "naming" , FAQ number or command
> > > respectively modification of the one below,
> >
> > But this is the correct behaviour; figures are numbered
> according to their
> > appearance in the text and not according to when they are
> referenced.  It
> > would be very odd to have Fig. 10 on page one followed at a
> later stage by
> > Fig. 1, 2 etc.  Why on earth should you want such a numbering
> scheme.  Or
> > have I misunderstood something?
>
> Perhaps what he wants,  which in fact I also would like, is a treatment
> of tables and figures something like bibtex with references.
> In other words, something that rearranges the order of figures and tables
> to correspond to the order in which they are referenced in the text.

rewrite of various parts of LaTeX: \ref, \caption, and the treatment of
floats in general.

What shouldn't be too difficult, however, would be something along the
following lines:

1.  Save each float (figure or table), with NO \begin{figure}...\end{figure}
enclosure and NO \label, in a separate file (only one float per file).  [I
usually do something similar anyway to leave the main file less cluttered.]

2. Define, say,

\newcommand\FloatRef[3]{\ref{#1}\begin{#3}\input{#2}\label{#1}\end{#3}}

where, #1 is then the label, #2 is the file name and #3 is the
environment (figure or table).

N.B. This should, of course, be used ONLY ONCE for any given label (the
first reference).  However, with a smidgen more work one could add an
automatic check to see if the given label has already been used (though this
is not entirely trivial!) and thus allow it to always be used.

Any volunteers to write a package?  If I find time (!) and if someone else
adds their name to the would-be users list, maybe I could do something
distributable.

Cordialmente,  Philip G. Ratcliffe