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When we write an article about a specific topic, we want to exemplify what we try to explain. In this case, we add a picture in that article.

When mentioning this picture, which one is true?

  1. Explanation, as illustrated in figure 1.
  2. Explanation, as illustrated by figure 1.

The first sentence seems to me more appropriate, but I am not sure.

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    COCA reports 371 results for illustrated in figure and 9 for illustrated by figure, and BNC agrees with 210 and 5 results respectively. So, while the by usage is attested, I would use in. – user3395 May 4 '18 at 11:50
  • It depends on whether the explanation is illustrated by the entire graphic (use by) or by something in the graphic (use in). – user3169 May 4 '18 at 20:10

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