Cross-referencing with 'cleveref'

→ Included in the report/thesis and article template by default.

A random figure might at some point be numbered 'Figure 2.1', but a few changes to the document could suddenly make it 'Figure 2.4'. To make cross-referencing easier, LaTeX provides commands to automate referencing to numbered elements (such as sections, equations and figures). Although multiple solutions exist, cleveref is generally considered to be more powerful and flexible.

Creating Labels

Before referencing a numbered element, an identifier has to be added. A random text string will work with the \label{} command, but you might want to include the reference type (eqn:, fig:) to stay organized. An example can be found below:

\section{Some Introductory Thoughts}
\label{section:introduction}

\begin{equation}
  \label{eqn:pythagoras}
  a^2 + b^2 = c^2
\end{equation}

\begin{figure}[h]
  \centering
  \includegraphics[width=0.8\linewidth]{example.png}
  \caption{An example figure}
  \label{fig:example}
\end{figure}

Note that with figures and tables, the \label{} command has to be given after \caption{}.

Referencing Numbered Elements

When a numbered element has a label, it can be cross-referenced with the \cref{} command. Note that capitalizing the first letter of the \cref{} command will also capitalize the first letter of the reference name.

\section{A section with a label}
\label{section:example}

\cref{section:example} % For example: 'section 2.1'
\Cref{section:example} % For example: 'Section 2.1'

It is also possible to cross-reference multiple numbered elements at once. The \crefrange{}{} command can be used to cross-reference a range of elements, while the \cref{} command allows multiple comma-separated identifiers to be added:

\crefrange{fig:ex-1}{fig:ex-5} % For example: 'figures 2.1 to 2.5'
\cref{fig:example,tab:example} % For example: 'figure 2.1 and table 2.1'

Package Options

A few package options exist that modify the cross-reference format. Two of them are described here in more detail:

  • capitalise: With this option, the first letter of the cross-reference name will always be capitalized. This package option is used by default in the article template.
  • noabbrev: The full name of the cross-reference will always be used instead of an abbreviation (such as eq.) with this option. This package option is used by default in the report/thesis template.

Changing the package options can be done by finding the line where cleveref is imported in the class file (layout > <file>.cls). Remove or add the option (comma-separated) as can be seen below.

\RequirePackage[capitalise,<option2>,...]{cleveref} % Intelligent cross-referencing

More Information

This webpage only describes the basic usage. If you have any questions, try searching for an answer online or take a look at the package documentationopen in new window. For questions, suggestions or issues related to the template or this documentation, feel free to contact me.