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I have been told to always load dblfloatfix in two-column documents. I therefore include it in my standard preamble, which uses one column by default. It did not appear to affect my documents when they were typeset in one column. But just to be sure, I would like to ask this question: Can dblfloatfix cause problems when loaded in a one-column document?

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    I'd use fixltx2e rather than dblfloatfix (unless you specifically need bottom floats) as it is maintained by the latex maintainers and so easier to keep up to date with any changes in the latex format. – David Carlisle Feb 26 '15 at 15:02
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    In particlular I have just noticed that it redefines \@doclearpage so undoes a fix that is in the latex svn sources (so hopefully in TL2015) for latex-project.org/cgi-bin/ltxbugs2html?pr=latex/3528 The version of fixltx2e that is scheduled for the same release doesn't have that problem (actually dblfloatfix may get updated too, and now I've spotted that we will ping the maintainer at the appropriate time) but the answer to "can contributed packages modifying the most complicated part of latex's internals cause problems" is always going to be "yes". – David Carlisle Feb 26 '15 at 15:08
  • I use fixltx2e as well, but I thought that dblfloatfix also had to be loaded. I guess I was wrong. Thank you! – Gaussler Feb 26 '15 at 15:11
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    In addition to fixltx2e, dblfloatfix uses some code orignally in stfloats that implements [b] bottom floats for double column. So that part is an extension rather than a fix, you only need it if you need it. – David Carlisle Feb 26 '15 at 15:17
  • Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/114499/… TLDR: Yes, dblfloatfix may cause problems. – bers Jan 31 '17 at 11:25
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dbfloatfix (and the fix2col and stfloats packages on which it is based) is a fairly robust package and won't in isolation affect single column floats using the latex releases that it is designed to fix.

However like any contributed package it runs the danger that it is harder to test potential latex updates against all contributed packages, whereas packages such as fixltx2e that are part of the core release are integrated into the test suite and updated at the same time as the kernel files.

So unless you need bottom floats I would use fixltx2e in preference. In particular I note that the current version of dblfloatfix would over-write the currently proposed fix for http://www.latex-project.org/cgi-bin/ltxbugs2html?pr=latex/3528 which is in the development sources for the next release. That isn't necessarily a real problem as a dblfloatfix could be updated as any latex release is pushed to ctan, but it shows the general (but really unavoidable) danger of contributed packages that patch the internals of LaTeX. 'Can package "xyz" cause problems?' always has to have the answer of "yes".

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    @Gaussler good timing, I was just running the test suite including testing that potential change just as you posted the original question:-) – David Carlisle Feb 26 '15 at 17:10
  • Exactly what I thought. ;-) – Gaussler Feb 26 '15 at 17:24

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