# How to put a table at the head of a page of a two column academic paper?

I have a huge table that needs to be in the paper and I want to fit it at the top of a page. How can I align in such a way, at the top of the page?

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Have you tried using \begin{table*}[h]...\end{table*} ? –  Mario S. E. Oct 5 '13 at 15:32
what is * meaning ? –  Erogol Oct 5 '13 at 15:34
In a two-column document, table* and figure* environments take up the width of two columns, whereas their unstarred siblings take up just one column. Starred floats must be placed at the top of a page -- but that's what you want anyway, right? –  Mico Oct 5 '13 at 15:48
yes it solves my problem thank you :) –  Erogol Oct 5 '13 at 15:50
By the way this solution puts the table to end of the document. Is there any additional setting to put it where it is defined –  Erogol Oct 5 '13 at 16:54

To summarize the series of comments: In a two-column document, one can typeset a "wide float" -- i.e., one that's as wide as two columns -- using the table* and figure* environments. (In a two-column document, the table and figure environments occupy the width of a single column.) The only real restriction is that double-wide floats must be placed at the top of a page; however, this wouldn't appear to a constraint in your case, right? A side effect of this restriction is that the h and b location specifiers have no effect, and shouldn't be used, when setting up double-wide floats.

The fraction of a two-column page that may be occupied by a (double-wide) float is limited by the LaTeX parameter \dbltopfraction. In most document classes I'm familiar with, the default value of this parameter is 0.7, i.e., the height of a table* or figure* environment must not exceed 0.7\textheight. If the height of your table* environment does exceeed this threshold, you need to take one of the following actions to prevent it from "floating" all the way to the back of the document:

• use the [tp] location specifier to instruct LaTeX that it's permissible to try and place the bulky float on a page by itself (as well as at the top of a page);

• use the [t!] location specifier to override the effect of \dbltopfraction for this particular float; or


What if these methods all fail, i.e., what if LaTeX still places that float at the very end of the document? In that case, your float is probably taller than a page, and your first line of action should almost certainly be to find ways to reduce its height. However, if the table* environment is only a tiny amount taller than a page, you can try the following: Load the afterpage package and encase the double-wide float in something like the following code:

\afterpage{%
\clearpage  % flush out any accumulated floats
\begin{table*}[t!]
...
\end{table*}
\clearpage%  % flush out the big float, i.e., force LaTeX to typeset it right here
} % end of afterpage{} group
... remainder of document code


You should only do this as a last-resort, desperate measure...

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I did first two choices but did not work. I don't know about \renewcommand, will search about –  Erogol Oct 5 '13 at 17:30