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Is there a convenient way to place a figure* at the end of the current page instead of taking up the entire next page in the twocolumn environment? Placement modifiers [Hb] do not work.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 9 '12 at 14:48

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3 Answers

Try the stfloats package.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{stfloats}
\begin{document}
\lipsum[1-5]
\begin{figure*}[b]
\centering\rule{0.8\textwidth}{0.3\textwidth}
\caption{A nice figure}
\end{figure*}
\lipsum[1-10]
\end{document}

Which gives:

enter image description here

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The dblfloatfix package also provides placement specifiers in twocolumn format, although it's usually delayed for at least one page:

enter image description here

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{dblfloatfix}% http://ctan.org/pkg/dblfloatfix
\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
\begin{document}
\begin{figure*}[b]
  \centering\rule{.7\textwidth}{.2\textwidth}
  \caption{A figure caption}
\end{figure*}
\lipsum[1-20]
\end{document}

In the above example, note how the first is placed at the beginning of the document (page 1) and requested at the bottom, while it actually is displayed at the bottom of page 2. However, placement may still depend on the size of the included image.

Note that it should not be used in conjunction with the stfloats package.

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[Hb] makes no sense as a placement modifier – [H] can only be used alone, and means “place it HERE, period” (and requires the float package).

If you want to place it at the bottom, use just [b]. If LaTeX thinks it knows better than you, try [b!] to make LaTeX try harder. If that still doesn’t work you’re essentially out of luck.

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None of the placement modifiers do anything in two column. –  Chet Aug 8 '12 at 20:32
    
Ah drat, I forgot about that. My comment still stands in general though. Furthermore, for multicolumn figures see tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=mcfloat –  Konrad Rudolph Aug 8 '12 at 20:34
    
Yes, that's true. The problem isn't the horizontal location, size or shape of the image. It's that the image is forced on a new page when there is plenty of room for it on the previous one. I find it hard to believe that there is no way around this. Are there better packages to use than multicol? I'm relatively new to Latex. Thanks. –  Chet Aug 9 '12 at 12:49
    
@Chet I’m not sure. LaTeX’ figure placement often annoys me, not only with multicols. –  Konrad Rudolph Aug 9 '12 at 12:56
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