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The \includegraphics command from the graphicx package provides options height and totalheight for resizing embedded graphics.

As long as the graphics file doesn't possess a natural depth, it doesn't make a difference whether the one or the other option is used.

Therefore I wonder why totalheight is provided at all. Are there graphics file formats that allow for natural depth? I have never met one so far, but I am willing to accept the contrary.

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

The keys are interpreted in order so after

angle=180, height=3in

it first flips the image upside down so it's all in the depth, then tries to scale the 0pt height to 3in....

The first release didn't have a totalheight key, I added one pretty quickly:-)

You are probably correct that the external images in general don't naturally have a depth but the package doesn't assume that: if there was an image format with a natural baseline specification as well as total size, a graphicx driver could import that into latex with natural height and depth.

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Thank you! I completely disregarded the case of rotation prior to resizing. Now totalheight makes sense, indeed. – AlexG May 15 '14 at 9:06

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