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

  1. I want my figures to span to whole page width while on double column page, I am using subfloat, how to do that?

  2. I want the figures to appear at the top of a specific page. How can I address that?

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marked as duplicate by Jake, Werner, Marco Daniel, Seamus, Gonzalo Medina Nov 8 '11 at 13:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers 2

In twocolumn mode, the figure* environment stretches over the entire page width, and necessarily prints the figure at the top of the page. Here is a minimal example highlighting this:

enter image description here

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}% http://ctan.org/pkg/graphicx
\begin{document}
\section{First section}
\lipsum[1-2]
\section{Second section}
\lipsum[3]
\begin{figure*}
  \centering \includegraphics{figure}
  \caption{This is a figure caption}
\end{figure*}
\lipsum[4]
\section{Last section}
\lipsum[5-10]
\end{document}

lipsum was used to produce dummy text Lorem Ipsum style, while the demo option to graphicx allows for 150pt x 100pt black rectangles of images, even if they do not exist (remove this option in your document).


The above option does not offer much control over the placement of the figure, since it will necessarily end up at the top. There is not much that can be done to get away from this, apart from breaking the two-column mode to allow floating figures. This start-stop of multicolumn environments are possible when using the multicol package. It provides the multicols environment

\begin{multicols}{<n>}
  ...
\end{multicols}

that typesets its contents in <n> evenly spaced columns (yielding a similar output to twocolumn mode if <n> is chosen as 2).

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2  
The page on which the figure will go can be chosen by inserting the figure* environment between paragraphs that fall in the preceding page. –  egreg Nov 8 '11 at 7:55

Small amendment. If you want your illustration to span over entire page width, add width option to \includegraphics as shown below:

\begin{figure*}
  \includegraphics[width=\textwidth]{figure}
  \caption{This is a figure caption}
\end{figure*}

PS: I assume that other details of importing picture are described in the 1st anwswer to this post.

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Thanks! Helped me too! :) –  Brian Brown Jan 11 at 17:07

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