Customizing Float And Heading Names In Latex Documents

Changing Default Names in LaTeX

LaTeX provides default formatting and naming conventions for floats like figures and tables as well as document headings like chapters and sections. However, the flexibility of LaTeX allows users to customize these default names and styles to meet the specific needs of a document.

Modifying Figure and Table Captions

The \caption command in LaTeX inserts a number and title for floats like figures and tables. Users can alter the style, formatting, and prefix text for these captions through options passed to the \caption command. For more extensive changes, the \captionsetup command allows global changes to the naming scheme and style of captions.

Altering Chapter, Section and Subsection Titles

LaTeX features a hierarchical heading structure, with each heading designated by a specific LaTeX command. The titlesec package allows users to customize the format and labels for various headings, including altering font styles, indents, spacing, numbering schemes, and prefix text.

Using the \captionsetup Command

The \captionsetup command provides centralized control over figure and table captions. The key options of \captionsetup include:

  • labelformat - Defines label name formats like prefix and numbering
  • labelsep - Sets separator character between label prefix and number
  • font - Specifies font family and style for caption text
  • indention - Sets indent spacing for caption paragraphs
  • justification - Selects left, right, center or justified paragraph alignment

Applying Titlesec for Headings

The powerful titlesec package allows customization of document headings. Key features include:

  • Format specification for each heading type
  • Changing font sizes, styles, spacing, and alignment
  • Removing specific elements like chapter numbers
  • Creating new hierarchical levels beyond the LaTeX defaults
  • Inserting graphics, rules, boxes, or arbitrary text in headings

Customizing Table and Figure Captions

The \caption Command and Options

The fundamental command for adding a caption is the \caption command. Common options include:

  • label - Defines reference name for float with alphanumeric and punctuation allowed
  • text - Specifies actual caption text inline after command
  • singlelinecheck - Forces captions to single line with proper spacing
  • justification - Select left, right, center, or justified paragraph alignment
  • font - Sets font family and style for caption text

Adding Prefixes with \captionsetup

The \captionsetup command allows users to prepend text to every float caption without altering specific \caption commands. For example:

  • labelsep=period sets separator between prefix and number
  • labelformat=simple adds prefix text before number
  • labelfont=bf,it sets prefix to bold italics

So captionsetup can add a bold italicized "Figure" or "Table" prefix to all floats globally without added code bloat.

Changing Label Names and Formats

Unique and descriptive caption names support clarity and reference target accuracy. Formatting options include:

  • name - Changes float type name to text like Equation
  • labelformat - Alphanumeric formats like A-1 or 1-10
  • labelsep - Sets delimiter character between prefix and numbers

For longevity, automated numbering schemes tend to perform better than manually assigned alphanumeric labels.

Modifying Document Headings

Title Formatting with Titlesec

The titlesec package is the foremost tool for transforming heading defaults:

  • format - Applies grand formatting changes globally or to heading levels
  • label - Inserts prefix text, images or arbitrary content
  • font - Alters text font families and text style attributes
  • spacing - Controls margins, paragraph and vertical spacing
  • borders - Adds and styles horizontal, vertical or box lines

Titlesec adjustments made via these parameters cascade reliably to the entire document.

Changing Chapter and Section Names

Heading names can grow redundant in complex documents. Titlesec options like:

  • label - Removes or alters the default names like Chapter
  • name - Applies descriptive identifiers for specific instances
  • title - Inserts inline override text after command

Allow precision renaming without disrupting heading hierarchy or document flow. Local configs also avoid tangled inheritance issues.

Removing “Chapter” from Chapters

The chapter heading type triggers the insertion of default "Chapter # -" text. Typical methods for eliminating chapter name prefixes include:

  • \chapter*{Title} - Starred form suppresses numbering
  • name={} - Name property set to empty with titlesec
  • format=\title\thechapter{} - Inserts custom titlesec format without chapter text artifact

Chapter prefix removal via titlesec avoids needing to redefine lower heading levels.

Adding Custom Text to Headings

Arbitrary text can supplement headings when identifiers like numbering lose utility. Techniques involve:

  • label - Inserting descriptive terms with titlesec
  • title - Adding inline text without altering templates via name formatting properties
  • format - Defining heading structure globally with static and dynamic text variables

Supplementary terms help orient readers and ease navigation without impacting outline hierarchy.


Recap of Main Points

In summary, LaTeX offers tools to transform default heading and caption text artifacts:

  • The \caption and \captionsetup commands alter figure and table captions
  • The titlesec package customizes chapter, section and subsection headings
  • Caption elements like label prefixes, names, numbering and formatting are configurable
  • Titlesec controls spacing, fonts, graphics and text across all heading levels

Applying these techniques allows granular control over float and heading style.

Additional Customization Options

Further techniques for customization include:

  • Remaking floats with new environments like theorem and lemma
  • Creating custom heading levels and text with titlesec templates
  • Using sectsty to transform entire sections without macros
  • Altering header, footer and TOC properties
  • Applying packages like fmtcount to transform numbering

With robust core text semantics and structural elements in place, LaTeX enables extensive cosmetic refinements.

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