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Figures - Do you use the right HTML/CSS code to add images and captions?

Last updated by Tiago Araújo [SSW] on 19 May 2022 10:23 am (6 days ago) See History

Most developers put the image and the caption in a DIV tag, where the figure is just a paragraph - this is not correct.

<div>
  <img alt="">
  <p>Figure: Caption</p>
</div>

Figure: Bad example

Instead, you should use <figure> and <figcaption> as per https://www.w3schools.com/TAGS/tag_figcaption.asp. This structure gives semantic meaning to the image and figure:

<figure>
  <img src="image.jpg" alt="image"></img src="image.jpg" alt="image">
  <figcaption>Figure: Caption</figcaption>
</figure>

Figure: Good example

The old way

For some internal sites, we still use the old way to place images: Using  <dl><dt> (which is the item in the list – in our case an image), and <dd> for a caption.

<dl class="badImage"> OR <dl class="goodImage">   
  <dt><img src="image.jpg" alt="Image"></dt>
  <dd>Figure: Caption</dd>
</dl>

Figure: Old way example

Note: <dl> stands for "definition list"; <dt> for "definition term"; and <dd> for "definition description".

Tiago AraujoTiago Araujo
Adam CoganAdam Cogan

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