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Latex sets the margins to give a good reading experience for text. For pages containing only figures this generally does not matter and I would like my figures to fill as much space as possible, in both the horizontal and vertical directions.

Is there a way to automatically have pages containing only floats to have a different header footer and margin widths?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You actually want smaller margins, and larger text area. Floats are normally typeset before it is known which float area they will land in so their width is set before it is known whether they will land on a float page.

However if you force a float to go on to a float page with


Then you can make it be typeset into a wider are for example if the figure environment contains


Then the figure would bleed 1cm into each margin. You need calc package to enable the +2cm syntax.

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Thanks, when I first posted this question I was using figures that had more white space at the top and bottom than I though, which I have now cropped. This made me think the header and footer were restricting the available vertical space. I'm now not so sure, but anyway, will your fix ensure the maximum vertical space is used? I have actually seen the solutions for wide figures before. – crobar Oct 18 '12 at 14:52
all the vertical space is available anyway unless you know there is no page head and foot on those pages and want to overlap the page head in which case you don't need the minipage jut put \vspace{-2cm} before the includegraphics – David Carlisle Oct 18 '12 at 15:10
Yep, I mean I want to overlap the header (and footer) on float pages, so I'm really really using all the vertical space. I think I can actually do this using the fanchdr package from reading elsewhere. – crobar Oct 18 '12 at 15:15
well just \vspace{-something} at the start and end of your float will achieve that as long as each float is big enough that there is only one float per page – David Carlisle Oct 18 '12 at 15:24

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