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The multilingual framework for localizing LaTeX, LuaLaTeX, XeLaTeX

What’s new in babel 3.48


For the reasons explained here, the new features for labels are still somewhat tentative.

Labels with ini files

Combining counters with captions

Captions for numbered elements are hardcoded with the counter placed after it, clearly having English and a few other languages in mind. But in Hungarian, for example, the counter comes before, and in CJK languages it can be even surrounded by two strings (第 1 章). Now, keys in the captions section ending with .template set how the elements are ordered.

For example:

chapter.template = [[prechapter]] [chapter] [[postchapter]]
prechapter = 
postchapter = 

Here [[prechapter]] stands for \prechaptername and [chapter] for \thechapter.

The captions allowing this king of templating are chapter, appendix in book-like formats (be aware the counter in appendices is still usually chapter), part, figure, and table.

⚠ It works with standard classes and many others based on them, but sadly the way most classes deal with chapter captions is somewhat convoluted and the solution applied currently can change in the future to improve it. If you want to help, you can test different classes and report any issues you find.

Mapping counters

There is a new section in ini files for labels and how counters are used in some contexts.

As a first tool, there is a way to map some standard counters to another ones, with keys ending with map, preceded by arabic, roman, Roman, alph, Alph, fnsymbol. For example:

; Map roman to informal (eg, Japanese 一 二 三 四 etc.): = informal   

It must be activated with labels = map in \babelprovide.

Those keys do not redefine the original counters. Instead, a list of \the... is traversed and the original counter is replaced by the new one in a locale-dependent way. With this example, \roman still prints a roman numeral, but \theenumiii (in standard classes) is modified so that the informal counter is printed if the corresponding language is in force.

Some counters may have several definitions with hardcoded changes (a typical case is \thefootnote), so the remark above also applies here: the current solution can change in the future to improve it. Furthermore, changes are language dependent, which makes sense in, say, enumi, but not in footnote.

Changes in ini files

Japanese, Chinese and Korean

Using the previous tools, and the new captions prechapter, postchapter and the like, the corresponding labels are correctly rendered in standard classes. However, note \thecounter is not modified, which is relevant for TOCs and cross references.

The comments in the manual about CJK languages is still valid —usually a dedicated framework is preferred.


The same for chapter, appendix, figure and table.