I have two questions:

  1. When I use figure*, LaTeX sometimes places the figure before its predecessor. Is there a way to automatically number the figures as they appear in the text?

  2. On the other hand, is there a way to enforce the figures order? I tried to put \FloatBarrier before each figure, but it messed up the document. I don't mind it to float past a specific point, but I do want it to keep them in order.

  • When you use *, you are letting LaTeX manage the placement. That is, you have given up control of order. \Floatbarrier is generally used to stop figures from moving out of a chapter, section, subsection, etc. but not order since LaTeX is making the best use of space. The figures are automatically numbered. What do you mean by is there a way to automatically number the figures as they appear?
    – dustin
    Aug 8, 2013 at 15:23
  • Latex decided on a certain order of figures: 4,1,3,2. I have no problem with the order or placement of the figures themselves, but I still would like to figure counter to increase monotonically, i.e. set a different numbering to the figures: 1,2,3,4.
    – Zohar Levi
    Aug 9, 2013 at 3:21
  • 1
    @ZoharLevi basically it's a bug, but we can't change the default figure placement as it would potentially affect every latex document. That is why the core latex distribution has the fixltx2e package that allows people to opt-in to certain fixed behaviour, without forcing incompatible changes on the existing archive of latex documents. Aug 9, 2013 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


double and single column figures are kept in the correct order if you load the fixltx2e package.


The ordering is correct by default for LaTeX releases from 2015/01/01.

  • Works like magic!
    – Zohar Levi
    Aug 9, 2013 at 3:22

You can "force" the figure placement by adding:


You can also use [H] as suggested in this post: Similar post

For more detailed information on figure placement, see post: More info

  • The main effect of [ht!] is to prevent the use of float pages, so make it rather likely that that figure and all following ones go to the end of the document. Aug 8, 2013 at 15:49
  • I think it's the other way around... Since [ht!] prevents the use of float pages, the figure appears as close as possible to where it's called in the text.
    – Nicolas
    Aug 8, 2013 at 16:06
  • No. That's not how it works. Aug 8, 2013 at 16:07
  • My bad in that case ... But that's the experience I've had so far when using it ...
    – Nicolas
    Aug 8, 2013 at 16:11
  • well because you use ! it masks the effect, but stopping p does not make t or b more likely so if you have a float that can not be placed t, stopping p just makes it go to the end. Aug 8, 2013 at 16:33

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