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How to influence the position of float environments like figure and table in LaTeX?

When I compile the following latex snippet:

\documentclass[11pt]{report}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\chapter{1}
\begin{figure}
    \centering
        \includegraphics[width=1\textwidth]{Picture.PNG}
    \caption{Plug-in Landing Page }
    \label{fig:ASuRALP}
\end{figure}
\end{document}

I have a problem: The image is put to the next page. I have to reduce the size of the image a lot if I want it to fit in this chapter title page. The very strange behaviour that I observe is that at the human eye, the picture has clearly the place to fit into this first page, and if I put text instead of the picture, there is a lot of text that fits into the first page (a lot more than the picture size).

Does anyone has an idea of the problem ?

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marked as duplicate by Thorsten, lockstep, percusse, Martin Schröder, Marco Daniel Aug 16 '12 at 14:13

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There may be "enough" from your point of view, but LaTeX judges differently. See this excellent answer by Frank Mittelbach on this matter. –  hakaze Aug 8 '12 at 8:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The figure environment is a float. As default LaTeX will not put a float in the middle of the running text if it is larger than 0.2 of \textheight and it will not put it at the bottom of the page if it larger than 0.3 of \textheight. Also if will not move the float before the chapter title, so it is moved to the next page.

You can change this defaults. See http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=floats

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Thanks for the excellent pointers and reference, this solved the problem (and increased my knowledge of floats) –  Yann Aug 8 '12 at 9:21

I normally don't recommend overriding LaTeX's default settings for placing floating objects. However, you state that your "picture has clearly the place to fit into this first page"; hence, this looks like an instance where the LaTeX defaults are too conservative.

Rather than reset some of these float-related parameters yourself, you may want to simplify your life by loading the float package and affixing the [H] (note: not [h]) location specifier to \begin{figure}.

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