Is there a way to globally set a value (or minimum and maximum value) for the vertical space between, for instance,

headlines, tables, images and the like


the following text.

Right now I have the problem with my document that some of these vertical spaces are just too big and it does not look very pretty.

  • 2
    Try to influence the length \floatsep. What do you mean with headline? Maybe captions? Dec 9, 2011 at 10:06
  • 3
    Without more information about your document it is hard to tell what is causing this behaviour. I typically forget to remove the last \\ in a math environment, this introduces extra vertical space after the environment and naturally cannot be dealt with globally. Or if you use the center environment in figures instead of \centering you introduce extra vertical space.
    – uli
    Dec 9, 2011 at 10:08
  • savetrees gets rid of a lot of vertical space.
    – Chel
    Dec 9, 2011 at 10:18
  • 3
    My crystal ball tells me that you probably use a document class that stretches variable spaces to make the text always fit the complete page. This can in some cases cause the problem you described. Add a minimal example to your question or at least tell us your document class. Dec 9, 2011 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


This broad answer is perhaps sufficient for a vague question.

Here is a summary of the parameters (lengths/dimensions and control sequences) that affect float placement or layout, as given by the layouts package documentation (p 21 onward) and some extracts from the source2e documentation:

Where floats may appear on a page and how many appear there are specified by the following float placement parameters. The numbers are named like counters so the user can set them with the ordinary counter-setting commands:

  • \topnumber: Number of floats allowed at the top of a page (default is 2);
  • \bottomnumber: Number of floats allowed at the bottom of a page (default is 1);
  • \totalnumber: The total number of floats allowed per page; this includes in-text floats (default is 3);
  • \topfraction: The fraction of \textheight top floats may occupy on a page (default is 0.7);
  • \bottomfraction: The fraction of \textheight bottom floats may occupy on a page (default is 0.3); and
  • \textfraction: The minimum fraction of a page that must contain text (default is 0.2).

enter image description here

Other page style parameters:

  • \floatsep: Space left between floats (default is 12pt plus 2pt minus 2pt);
  • \textfloatsep: Space between last top float or first bottom float and the text (default is 20pt plus 2pt minus 4pt);
  • \topfigrule: Command to place rule (or whatever) between floats at top of page and text. Executed in inner vertical mode right before the \textfloatsep skip separating the oats from the text. Must occupy zero vertical space;
  • \botfigrule: Same as \topfigrule, but put after the \textfloatsep skip separating text from the floats at bottom of page;
  • \intextsep: Space left on top and bottom of an in-text float (default is 12pt plus 2pt minus 2pt).

enter image description here

You can set any of these at the beginning of your document, and they will have a global effect from that moment onward, unless there is some command or environment explicitly resetting it.

To see what your settings for any of these parameters are, use \the.... For example, to see the value of \floatsep, use \the\floatsep.

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