# Changing blank space before and after figure captions in IEEE format

The IEEE format creates generous (and more than enough) blank space before and after the figure captions, which cannot be seen in the IEEE published papers. When I had a look in to the IEEEtran.cls class, I found the settings similar to this:

 \setlength\abovecaptionskip{0.5\baselineskip}
\setlength\belowcaptionskip{0pt}

\def\@IEEEfigurecaptionsepspace{\vskip\abovecaptionskip\relax}%
\def\@IEEEtablecaptionsepspace{\vskip\abovecaptionskip\relax}%


So, the above and below caption skips are set as it is shown here in the original class. If you want to decrease the blank space for the figures only and not the tables as the space for tables seems reasonable most of the time, you would not be able to change it in the class. It should be done locally and for the figures you need it. Let’s see an example:

\begin{figure}[!h]
\setlength\abovecaptionskip{-0.7\baselineskip}
\centering
\includegraphics[width=3.5in,trim={0.6cm 0.6cm 1.4cm 1.2cm},clip]{sample_fig}
\caption{your caption.}
\label{fig:sample_fig}
\end{figure}


The \setlength\abovecaptionskip{-0.7\baselineskip} will change the blank space for this figure only. The same trick can be applied to individual tables if needed. If someone needs to change the blank space for all figures and tables in the same way, then it would be better to do it directly in the IEEEtran.cls class. To change the blank space after a figure’s caption, it is better to use this command:

\setlength{\textfloatsep}{0.7\baselineskip plus 0.2\baselineskip minus 0.5\baselineskip}


One can play with 0.7 value to find the desired space. The values after plus and minus gives compiler a little bit of freedom to find the best floating experience according to other rules set by the underlying class.

1. Gordon Stevenson

thanks – really useful!

2. Karthikeyan Iyer

Thanks bro. Just what I was looking for.