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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Insert Images in LaTeX

By Scholarly

8 min read

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In the world of scientific and technical writing, LaTeX has become the go-to typesetting system. However, many LaTeX users struggle with inserting images into their documents. This comprehensive guide will take you through the step-by-step process of seamlessly including images in LaTeX.


Past State

In the past, inserting images in LaTeX required manual adjustments, such as specifying the image size and positioning. Users had to convert images to the EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) format, which limited the range of image formats that could be used.

Current State

Today, LaTeX supports a wider range of image formats, including PNG, JPEG, and PDF. Users can also specify the image width and height directly in the document. Various packages, such as graphicx and float, have made it easier to insert and position images in LaTeX documents.

Future State

In the future, advancements in LaTeX packages and tools will further simplify the process of inserting images. AI-powered solutions may be developed to automatically adjust image size and position based on the document layout.


  • Enhance Visual Appeal: Including images in your LaTeX documents makes them visually appealing and easier to understand.

  • Improved Comprehension: Images can help illustrate complex concepts, making them easier to comprehend for readers.

  • Engage Readers: Visual elements like images can engage readers and make your document more interesting.

  • Efficient Communication: Images can convey information more efficiently than text alone, saving readers' time.

  • Professional Presentation: Including images in your LaTeX documents gives them a polished and professional look.


The ability to insert images in LaTeX is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it allows researchers and academics to effectively communicate their findings and ideas through visual representations. Additionally, it enhances the overall quality and professionalism of scientific and technical documents.

Best Practices

To ensure smooth insertion of images in LaTeX, follow these best practices:

  1. Use High-Quality Images: Use images with sufficient resolution to maintain clarity when printed or viewed on digital devices.

  2. Choose the Right Image Format: Select the appropriate image format based on the content and requirements of your document. PNG is suitable for graphics, while JPEG is ideal for photographs.

  3. Use Descriptive Captions: Provide informative captions that describe the content and purpose of each image.

  4. Position Images Appropriately: Place images close to the relevant text to ensure a clear connection between the image and its description.

  5. Label and Reference Images: Assign labels to images and refer to them in the text using the label and ref commands.

Pros and Cons


  • Improved Visual Appeal: Images enhance the visual appeal of LaTeX documents.

  • Better Understanding: Images help readers better understand complex concepts.

  • Increased Engagement: Images engage readers and make documents more interesting.

  • Time-Saving: Images convey information more efficiently than text alone, saving readers' time.

  • Professional Presentation: Including images gives LaTeX documents a polished and professional look.


  • File Size: Images can increase the file size of LaTeX documents, especially when using high-resolution images.

  • Formatting Challenges: Positioning images precisely can be challenging, especially when dealing with complex document layouts.

  • Compatibility Issues: Some image formats may not be fully compatible with LaTeX, requiring conversion or additional steps.

  • Accessibility Concerns: Images may pose accessibility challenges for visually impaired readers.

  • Copyright and Licensing: Ensure you have the necessary rights and permissions to use images in your LaTeX documents.


Several packages and tools are available for inserting images in LaTeX. Here are a few popular ones:

  1. graphicx: The graphicx package is the most commonly used package for including images in LaTeX. It provides various commands for inserting and manipulating images.

  2. float: The float package allows you to control the placement of images, ensuring they appear where desired in the document.

  3. tikz: The tikz package is a powerful tool for creating diagrams and illustrations directly within LaTeX documents.

  4. subcaption: The subcaption package enables the inclusion of subfigures and subcaptions within a single figure environment.


Method 1: Using the graphicx Package

  1. Load the graphicx package in the preamble of your LaTeX document.

  2. Use the includegraphics command to insert an image.

  3. Specify the image file name and optional parameters, such as width and height.

Method 2: Using the float Package

  1. Load the float package in the preamble of your LaTeX document.

  2. Wrap the includegraphics command within the figure environment.

  3. Use the optional parameter [h] to specify that the image should be placed 'here'.

Method 3: Using the tikz Package

  1. Load the tikz package in the preamble of your LaTeX document.

  2. Use the tikzpicture environment to create a drawing or diagram.

  3. Use various commands and options provided by the tikz package to customize the appearance of the image.

AI Impact

AI can have a significant impact on the insertion of images in LaTeX. Here are some potential AI applications:

  • Automatic Image Positioning: AI algorithms can analyze the document layout and automatically position images for optimal visual appeal.

  • Image Recognition: AI-powered image recognition can identify the content of an image and generate descriptive captions or alt text.

  • Image Compression: AI algorithms can compress images without significant loss in quality, reducing file size and improving document loading times.

  • Image Enhancement: AI techniques can enhance image quality, adjust colors, and remove noise, resulting in visually appealing images.

  • AI-Powered Image Search: AI can assist in finding relevant images based on keywords or content analysis.

  • Online Apps: Several online applications, such as Scholarly, provide AI-powered tools for generating LaTeX documents with seamlessly inserted images.

Common Techniques

Technique 1: Scaling Images

  • Use the width or height parameter to scale images proportionally.

  • Use the scale parameter to specify a scaling factor.

  • Maintain the aspect ratio to avoid distortion.

Technique 2: Placing Images Side by Side

  • Use the minipage environment to place images side by side.

  • Adjust the width of each minipage to control the placement.

  • Use the caption command within each minipage to provide individual captions.

Technique 3: Wrapping Text Around Images

  • Use the wrapfig package to wrap text around images.

  • Specify the alignment and positioning of the image using the wrapfigure environment.

  • Adjust the width of the wrapped text area to avoid overlapping with the image.


Inserting images in LaTeX can come with its fair share of challenges. Here are a few common ones:

  1. Image Positioning: Precisely positioning images within complex document layouts can be challenging.

  2. Compatibility Issues: Some image formats may not be fully compatible with LaTeX, requiring conversion or additional steps.

  3. File Size: High-resolution images can significantly increase the file size of LaTeX documents.

  4. Caption Formatting: Formatting captions and labels for images may require additional customization.

  5. Accessibility Concerns: Images may pose accessibility challenges for visually impaired readers, requiring alternative text or descriptions.

Potential Online Apps

  1. Scholarly: Scholarly is an AI-powered online app that simplifies the process of inserting images in LaTeX documents. It offers features like auto-sizing, caption generation, and image positioning.

  2. Overleaf: Overleaf is a popular online LaTeX editor that provides a user-friendly interface for inserting and managing images in LaTeX documents.

  3. ShareLaTeX: ShareLaTeX, now part of Overleaf, offers similar features for inserting images in LaTeX.

  4. LaTeXiT: LaTeXiT is a macOS application that allows you to insert LaTeX equations and images into other applications, such as word processors and presentation software.

  5. Mathcha: Mathcha is an online editor that supports LaTeX and allows you to insert images alongside mathematical equations.


Inserting images in LaTeX can enhance the visual appeal and comprehension of your documents. By following best practices, utilizing appropriate packages, and considering AI-powered solutions, you can seamlessly include images in your LaTeX documents. As advancements continue, the process of inserting images will become even more streamlined, making LaTeX an even more powerful tool for scientific and technical communication.


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