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\begin{table}[h+]

This gives a syntax error in pdflatex. I guess I am missing a package, but I cannot think which one it is. I have installed every package I can think of ....

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    Welcome to TeX.SE + seems to be wrong! I don't know this float parameter. – user31729 Jan 2 '17 at 13:03
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    I'm curious where you saw + used as a float specifier, I've never seen it before. Any subset of htbp! is valid without packages. – Torbjørn T. Jan 2 '17 at 13:05
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    I can only assume that what you were meant (or supposed) to type was \begin{table}[h!]. That, or one or more of the following letters: h, t, b, and p. For sure , if you use ! instead of +, the syntax error is gone. – Mico Jan 2 '17 at 13:32
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    I might also add that using [h] or [h!] will cause the table to go the end of the section/chapter/document or wherever the next \clearpage is if it will not fit on the current page. If you don't want it to float, don't use table at all. – John Kormylo Jan 2 '17 at 14:05
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    @JohnKormylo - Your comment is correct for [h] but (thankfully for lots of unsuspecting users) not for [h!]: LaTeX automatically changes all instances of [h!] to [ht!]. The effect of [ht!]: if LaTeX can't place the float "right here" on the current page, it will place it at the top of the very next next page. – Mico Jan 2 '17 at 14:27
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Up to LaTeX release 2015/01/01, an input such as

\begin{table}[h+]

wouldn't have produced an error, but the + would have done nothing at all.

Starting from that release, illegal characters in the optional argument to a float environment (table, figure or others defined by additional packages) produce an error

Unknown float option `<opt>'

in your case

Unknown float option `+'

Note that the only legal characters are

h t b p !

With the float package, one can use H (alone), but it's not recommended.

  • I have been using the + for ages! OH OK maybe it was simply being ignored. Was told by someone it made the placement stronger back in about 2003.... – Robin Jan 3 '17 at 13:45
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    @Robin That's !, not +. – egreg Jan 3 '17 at 13:45

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