I saw both versions ("in figure" and "on figure"), however---what is more correct? And is there any difference?

EDIT: In scientific papers, standards and other publications, "figures" can be found. They are also denoted as "pictures" sometimes (informally). When someone wants to refer to a part of a figure, he or she can write either "in figure" or "on figure". I am interested in figuring out if there is any difference in these two cases.

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    This comparison is meaningless without context. – Robusto May 29 '11 at 16:31

The standard is "in". From a random article on my desk:

...and isoamyl alcohol designated in Figure 2 were used...

Figures, as graphical elements, use the same terminology as other graphical items: in a painting, in a photograph, in your web browser.

Incidentally, even more common is to not use "in" (or "on") at all:

...did not migrate to 0.03 M sodium chloride (Fig. 2A, right).

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    "A random article" doesn't sound as a robust source. Google Ngram viewer indicates that shown in figure is much more common than other variants. – Andrey Aug 2 '16 at 1:32
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    @Andrey - No, the robustness comes from my 20+ years of reading papers; I am giving an example to illustrate the point. If Google Ngram didn't agree, it is more likely that Google Ngram wasn't indexing the appropriate work than that "in" wasn't the actual standard for scientific papers. It's really obvious with experience (also, that the second form I showed is even more common is obvious with a bit of experience). – Rex Kerr Aug 11 '16 at 17:39
  • Why is the F capitalized, please? Also, is there no need of a definite article? "in the figure"? – dpelisek Jan 7 '18 at 22:43
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    @dpelisek - Whether F is capitalized or not depends on the journal. Also, you do not need a definite article ("the") because "Figure 2" (for example) is the proper name of that figure in the context of the paper. If you do not use the figure number, then it is appropriate to use a definite article, but this is rarely done because it may be unclear which figure you mean. So, "As shown in the figure, sodium chloride and EDTA produce different responses..." would normally be written "As shown in Figure 2b, sodium chloride and EDTA produce different responses...". – Rex Kerr Jan 12 '18 at 19:22

"in the figure" is the exact way to write in the scientific papers.

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    Please try to add some references/sources to your answer to increase its veracity. It would also help if you could add your experiences therein. – Mohit Dec 5 '13 at 9:53

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