# How to make a figure span on two columns in a scientific paper?

If I just try to set the figure's size to 0.9\textwidth my figure will just end up on the right column, sized to be two-columns wide.

Has anyone done this before?

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I think we need a minimal example of what you are doing. There are lots of possible variations here. Did you try \begin{figure*}, for example? –  Joseph Wright Sep 16 '10 at 21:05
That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks. I thought adding an * only removed the figure's numbering? –  levesque Sep 16 '10 at 21:07
You're confused with equation* –  Will Robertson Sep 16 '10 at 22:51
figure* and table* are two column figures and tables, respectively. –  TH. Sep 16 '10 at 23:52
I had a similar problem, in \documentclass[twocolumn]{article}--but using figure*[width=\textwidth] sends it to the bottom of the document, not breaking the columns. –  isomorphismes Jun 3 '14 at 9:17

From the TUG faq: use the starred versions figure* and table*. Unfortunately, they're somewhat limited in positioning.
Also, the same solution applies to equations. Just include them in a figure* environment. But I don't recommend doing this: it will look ugly and confusing. For an example, see this paper. (sorry, I couldn't find an example in arXiv)
@Lev: Oh, I didn't remember that double-width floats can't appear at [b]! @araujorns: I know of some journals that can make full-width equations across double cols, effectively splitting the page in four; seems like cuted and midfloat can do this. I wouldn't use it for figures, however. –  Will Robertson Sep 17 '10 at 6:43