I'm writing a document with two columns, and after compiling I noticed I have a hideous amount of whitespace after one of my figure captions:

Screenshot of erroneous whitespace

The LaTeX code used for this part of the document is as follows:

\caption{\small{a) .....}}

I've tried getting rid of the whitespace by using a negative argument for he \vspace{} command but that just merges the main text into the figure caption. If I use a smaller value to try and avoid this (like -1.1cm, for example) the document compiles the same as below where I don't use the vspace command. Are there any other ways to remove this whitespace?

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. Dec 29, 2014 at 18:19
  • Have you tried to not restrict latex with only trying [t] floating?
    – Ruben
    Dec 29, 2014 at 18:40

2 Answers 2


Ok, fiddled about with it and I've used a couple of fixes. For those who are interested, the preamble is included below (not entirely my choice. I've been provided with a template that I have to use).

The problem was that on the page following this there was a title for the following section. LaTeX was spacing things out so the title didn't begin at the bottom of the page. I used two fixes for this: the first being to reduce the amount of whitespace between the caption and the text using \setlength{\belowcaptionskip}{-12pt}. The second (and probably more important) fix was to tell LaTeX to stop being pedantic about where it put section titles with \usepackage[small,compact]{titlesec}. The title now appears at the bottom of that page (with some text beneath it), which I'm fine with for the purposes of this document.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions.



%not included in the preamble for the example in the original problem

% Following change makes the caption size footnotesize From:        http://rorasa.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/instant-latex-command-for-small-figure-and-table-caption/  

  \sbox\@tempboxa{{\captionfonts #1: #2}}%
  \ifdim \wd\@tempboxa >\hsize
    {\captionfonts #1: #2\par}
    \hbox to\hsize{\hfil\box\@tempboxa\hfil}%


(To be removed when the question is modified. Not a real answer.)

The following MWE doesn't really show the same problem, so there's something weird in your preamble, or possibly in the text.



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.
Ut purus elit, vestibulum ut, placerat ac, adipiscing vitae, felis.
Curabitur dictum gravida mauris.
Nam arcu libero, nonummy eget, consectetuer id, vulputate a, magna.
Donec vehicula augue eu neque.
Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas.
Mauris ut leo.


enter image description here

  • That was almost exactly it. I had a title on the following page that refused to go anywhere but at the top of the page. I've added some commands to my preamble and fixed it (see below). Thanks for your input. Dec 30, 2014 at 20:26
  • the differences between \columnwidth, \textwidth, and \linewidth is really very mellow.
    – bim
    Oct 19, 2023 at 11:28

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