I've been having an issue with the RSC Article template that causes the first page to render fine, but every subsequent page to render incorrectly, with a large blank area at the top, and the rest of the page shifted down so the bottom runs off the page.

I spent a bunch of time comparing my files to the template, before finally trying to compile the template example, and finding it had the same problem. I thought that was very strange, and opened a file I wrote several years ago that compiled just fine at the time, and recompiled that. It also compiled incorrectly. Therefore, I'm guessing something has changed in TeXLive 2019 that is causing this error.

What happens when I compile this document now What used to happen

I'm not sure how to make a MWE of this bug: I could delete things until it goes away, but that might just be hiding the problem. For example, switching from \usepackage{newtxtext,newtxmath} to \usepackage{times,mathptmx} seemed to fix the problem, until I wrote more and the problem returned (I assume there was some change in how the figures are laid out that gave rise to this.

I have made an example that shows this rather plainly: however you will need to download the template from the RSC so that the figures are there, or it doesn't show the error.

Therefore MNWE 1: Download the RSC Article template and run pdflatex on that with fully updated TeXLive2019

MNEW 2: This is simply the RSC template with a few pages of public domain text pasted into it: It occurs without the text (just with the template example on fully updated TeXLive2019), but this is more obvious as you can see the text running off the page.

%This is the LaTeX ARTICLE template for RSC journals
%Copyright The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016
\usepackage[left=1.5cm, right=1.5cm, top=1.785cm, bottom=2.0cm]{geometry}
  \renewcommand{\refname}{Notes and references}
%%%Please don't disable any packages in the preamble, as this may cause the template to display incorrectly.%%%

\usepackage{epstopdf}%This line makes .eps figures into .pdf - please comment out if not required.





%%%PAGE SETUP - Please do not change any commands within this section%%%

\color{cream}\hrule width 3.5in height 0.4pt \color{black}\vspace*{5pt}} 

\setstretch{1.125} %In particular, please do not alter this line.

\fancyfoot[RO]{\footnotesize{\sffamily{1--\pageref{LastPage} ~\textbar  \hspace{2pt}\thepage}}}
\fancyfoot[LE]{\footnotesize{\sffamily{\thepage~\textbar\hspace{3.45cm} 1--\pageref{LastPage}}}}

%%%FIGURE SETUP - please do not change any commands within this section%%%

\noindent{\color{cream}\rule[-\figrulesep]{\columnwidth}{1.5pt}} }

\noindent{\color{cream}\rule[\figrulesep]{\columnwidth}{1.5pt}} }

\noindent{\color{cream}\rule[-\figrulesep]{\textwidth}{1.5pt}} }


\begin{tabular}{m{4.5cm} p{13.5cm} }

\includegraphics{head_foot/DOI} & \noindent\LARGE{\textbf{This is the title$^\dag$}} \\%Article title goes here instead of the text "This is the title"
\vspace{0.3cm} & \vspace{0.3cm} \\

 & \noindent\large{Full Name,$^{\ast}$\textit{$^{a}$} Full Name,\textit{$^{b\ddag}$} and Full Name\textit{$^{a}$}} \\%Author names go here instead of "Full name", etc.

\includegraphics{head_foot/dates} & \noindent\normalsize{The abstract should be a single paragraph which summarises the content of the article. Any references in the abstract should be written out in full \textit{e.g.}\ [Surname \textit{et al., Journal Title}, 2000, \textbf{35}, 3523].} \\%The abstrast goes here instead of the text "The abstract should be..."


 \end{@twocolumnfalse} \vspace{0.6cm}


%%%FONT SETUP - please do not change any commands within this section


\footnotetext{\textit{$^{a}$~Address, Address, Town, Country. Fax: XX XXXX XXXX; Tel: XX XXXX XXXX; E-mail: [email protected]}}
\footnotetext{\textit{$^{b}$~Address, Address, Town, Country. }}

%Please use \dag to cite the ESI in the main text of the article.
%If you article does not have ESI please remove the the \dag symbol from the title and the footnotetext below.
\footnotetext{\dag~Electronic Supplementary Information (ESI) available: [details of any supplementary information available should be included here]. See DOI: 00.0000/00000000.}
%additional addresses can be cited as above using the lower-case letters, c, d, e... If all authors are from the same address, no letter is required

\footnotetext{\ddag~Additional footnotes to the title and authors can be included \textit{e.g.}\ `Present address:' or `These authors contributed equally to this work' as above using the symbols: \ddag, \textsection, and \P. Please place the appropriate symbol next to the author's name and include a \texttt{\textbackslash footnotetext} entry in the the correct place in the list.}


%%%MAIN TEXT%%%%
The main text of the article\cite{Mena2000} should appear here.

\subsection{This is the subsection heading style}
Section headings can be typeset with and without numbers.\cite{Abernethy2003}

\subsubsection{This is the subsubsection style.~~} These headings should end in a full point.  

\paragraph{This is the next level heading.~~} For this level please use \texttt{\textbackslash paragraph}. These headings should also end in a full point.

\section{Graphics and tables}
Graphics should be inserted on the page where they are first mentioned (unless they are equations, which appear in the flow of the text).\cite{Cotton1999}

  \caption{An example figure caption.}

 \caption{A two-column figure.}

Tables typeset in RSC house style do not include vertical lines. Table footnote symbols are lower-case italic letters and are typeset at the bottom of the table. Table captions do not end in a full point.\cite{Arduengo1992,Eisenstein2005}

  \caption{\ An example of a caption to accompany a table}
    Header one (units) & Header two & Header three \\
    1 & 2 & 3 \\
    4 & 5 & 6 \\
    7 & 8 & 9 \\
    10 & 11 & 12 \\

Adding notes to tables can be complicated.  Perhaps the easiest method is to generate these manually.\footnote[4]{Footnotes should appear here. These might include comments relevant to but not central to the matter under discussion, limited experimental and spectral data, and crystallographic data.}

  \caption{\ An example of a caption to accompany a table \textendash\ table captions do not end in a full point}
    Header one & Header two & Header three & Header four & Header five & Header six  & Header seven\\
    1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6  & 7\\
    8 & 9 & 10 & 11 & 12 & 13 & 14 \\
    15 & 16 & 17 & 18 & 19 & 20 & 21\\


Equations can be typeset inline \textit{e.g.}\ $ y = mx + c$ or displayed with and without numbers:

 \[ A = \pi r^2 \]

  \frac{\gamma}{\epsilon x} r^2 = 2r

You can also put lists into the text. You can have bulleted or numbered lists of almost any kind. 
The \texttt{mhchem} package can also be used so that formulae are easy to input: \texttt{\textbackslash ce\{H2SO4\}} gives \ce{H2SO4}. 

For footnotes in the main text of the article please number the footnotes to avoid duplicate symbols. \textit{e.g.}\ \texttt{\textbackslash footnote[num]\{your text\}}. The corresponding author $\ast$ counts as footnote 1, ESI as footnote 2, \textit{e.g.}\ if there is no ESI, please start at [num]=[2], if ESI is cited in the title please start at [num]=[3] \textit{etc.} Please also cite the ESI within the main body of the text using \dag.

The conclusions section should come in this section at the end of the article, before the Conflicts of interest statement.

\section*{Conflicts of interest}
In accordance with our policy on \href{http://www.rsc.org/journals-books-databases/journal-authors-reviewers/author-responsibilities/#code-of-conduct}{Conflicts of interest} please ensure that a conflicts of interest statement is included in your manuscript here.  Please note that this statement is required for all submitted manuscripts.  If no conflicts exist, please state that ``There are no conflicts to declare''.

The Acknowledgements come at the end of an article after Conflicts of interest and before the Notes and references.



%The \balance command can be used to balance the columns on the final page if desired. It should be placed anywhere within the first column of the last page.


%If notes are included in your references you can change the title from 'References' to 'Notes and references' using the following command:
%\renewcommand\refname{Notes and references}

\bibliography{rsc} %You need to replace "rsc" on this line with the name of your .bib file
\bibliographystyle{rsc} %the RSC's .bst file


Edit: I was asked to provide the versions of packages when it did compile correctly. I exclude .log files from my source control, but I did manage to find one that is from the right era:

Package: extsizes 1996/10/08 v1.0 Non Standard LaTeX Package
Package: natbib 2010/09/13 8.31b (PWD, AO)
Package: mhchem 2016/08/07 v4.05 for typesetting chemical formulae
Package: expl3 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 programming layer (loader) 
Package: expl3 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 programming layer (code)
Package: l3keys2e 2016/11/21 v6760 LaTeX2e option processing using LaTeX3 keys
Package: l3regex 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 Experimental regular expressions
Package: l3tl-build 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 Experimental token list construction
Package: l3tl-analysis 2016/06/13 v6589 L3 Experimental token lists analysis
Package: l3flag 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 Experimental flags
Package: l3str-convert 2016/09/07 v6699 L3 Experimental string encoding convers
Package: calc 2014/10/28 v4.3 Infix arithmetic (KKT,FJ)
Package: amsmath 2016/06/28 v2.15d AMS math features
Package: amstext 2000/06/29 v2.01 AMS text
Package: amsbsy 1999/11/29 v1.2d Bold Symbols
Package: amsopn 2016/03/08 v2.02 operator names
Package: xparse 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 Experimental document command parser
Package: chemgreek 2016/02/10 v1.0e interfaceforuprightgreeklettersforuseinchem
Package: graphics 2016/07/10 v1.0t Standard LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
Package: trig 2016/01/03 v1.10 sin cos tan (DPC)
Package: infwarerr 2016/05/16 v1.4 Providing info/warning/error messages (HO)
Package: ltxcmds 2016/05/16 v1.23 LaTeX kernel commands for general use (HO)
Package: geometry 2010/09/12 v5.6 Page Geometry
Package: keyval 2014/10/28 v1.15 key=value parser (DPC)
Package: ifpdf 2016/05/14 v3.1 Provides the ifpdf switch
Package: ifvtex 2016/05/16 v1.6 Detect VTeX and its facilities (HO)
Package: ifxetex 2010/09/12 v0.6 Provides ifxetex conditional
Package: balance 1999/02/23 4.3 (PWD)
Package: widetext 
Package: flushend 2016/06/21 v3.2 Balancing columns in twocolumn mode
Package: etoolbox 2015/08/02 v2.2a e-TeX tools for LaTeX (JAW)
Package: cuted 2012/10/04 v1.5 Mixing onecolumn and twocolumn modes
Package: sectsty 2002/02/25 v2.0.2 Commands to change all sectional heading sty
Package: lastpage 2015/03/29 v1.2m Refers to last page's name (HMM; JPG)
Package: caption 2016/02/21 v3.3-144 Customizing captions (AR)
Package: caption3 2016/05/22 v1.7-166 caption3 kernel (AR)
Package: float 2001/11/08 v1.3d Float enhancements (AL)
**Package: fancyhdr 2016/09/06 3.8 Extensive control of page headers and footers**
Package: fnpos 1999/07/14 v1.0 
Package: babel 2016/04/23 3.9r The Babel package
Package: array 2014/10/28 v2.4c Tabular extension package (FMi)
Package: droidsans 2011/09/11 Droid Sans
Package: slantsc 2012/01/01 v2.11 Provide Slanted an Italic Small Caps
Package: ifthen 2014/09/29 v1.1c Standard LaTeX ifthen package (DPC)
Package: charter 2005/04/12 PSNFSS-v9.2a (P.Dyballa) 
Package: fontenc 2016/06/19 v1.99m Standard LaTeX package
Package: xcolor 2016/05/11 v2.12 LaTeX color extensions (UK)
Package: setspace 2011/12/19 v6.7a set line spacing
Package: titlesec 2016/03/21 v2.10.2 Sectioning titles
Package: pdflscape 2016/05/14 v0.11 Display of landscape pages in PDF (HO)
Package: lscape 2000/10/22 v3.01 Landscape Pages (DPC)
Package: subcaption 2016/05/22 v1.1-161 Sub-captions (AR)
Package: booktabs 2016/04/27 v1.618033 publication quality tables
Package: inputenc 2015/03/17 v1.2c Input encoding file
Package: newtxtext 2016/08/12 v1.5
Package: fontaxes 2014/03/23 v1.0d Font selection axes
Package: xkeyval 2014/12/03 v2.7a package option processing (HA)
Package: fontenc 2016/06/19 v1.99m Standard LaTeX package
Package: textcomp 2016/06/19 v1.99m Standard LaTeX package
Package: newtxmath 2016/11/18 v1.514
Package: ifluatex 2016/05/16 v1.4 Provides the ifluatex switch (HO)
Package: microtype 2016/05/14 v2.6a Micro-typographical refinements (RS)
Package: siunitx 2016/11/24 v2.7 A comprehensive (SI) units package
Package: translator 2010/06/12 ver 1.10
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Package: chemmacros5 2016/06/08 v5.7a comprehensive support for typesetting che
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Package: bm 2016/07/07 v1.2b Bold Symbol Support (DPC/FMi)
Package: translations 2016/06/02 v1.4a internationalization of LaTeX2e packages
Package: cnltx-base 2015/08/17 v0.13 LaTeX tools and documenting facilities (CN
Package: pgfopts 2014/07/10 v2.1a LaTeX package options with pgfkeys
Package: pdftexcmds 2016/05/21 v0.22 Utility functions of pdfTeX for LuaTeX (HO
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Package: everyshi 2001/05/15 v3.00 EveryShipout Package (MS)
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Package: pgf 2015/08/07 v3.0.1a (rcs-revision 1.15)
Package: graphicx 2014/10/28 v1.0g Enhanced LaTeX Graphics (DPC,SPQR)
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Package: xtemplate 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 Experimental prototype document function
Package: xfrac 2016/11/21 v6760 L3 Experimental split-level fractions
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Package: chemnum 2016/04/14 v1.2 a comprehensive approach for the numbering of 
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Package: hyperref 2016/06/24 v6.83q Hypertext links for LaTeX
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File: dvipsnam.def 2016/06/17 v3.0m Driver-dependent file (DPC,SPQR)
File: utf8.def 2016/02/28 v1.1s UTF-8 support for inputenc
File: t1enc.dfu 2016/02/28 v1.1s UTF-8 support for inputenc
File: ot1enc.dfu 2016/02/28 v1.1s UTF-8 support for inputenc
File: omsenc.dfu 2016/02/28 v1.1s UTF-8 support for inputenc
File: xkeyval.tex 2014/12/03 v2.7a key=value parser (HA)
File: t1enc.def 2016/06/19 v1.99m Standard LaTeX file
File: ts1enc.def 2001/06/05 v3.0e (jk/car/fm) Standard LaTeX file
File: ts1enc.dfu 2016/02/28 v1.1s UTF-8 support for inputenc
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File: chemmacros.module.acid-base.code.tex 2016/06/08 v5.7a chemmacros module `
File: chemmacros.module.symbols.code.tex 2016/06/08 v5.7a chemmacros module `sy
File: chemmacros.module.particles.code.tex 2016/06/08 v5.7a chemmacros module `
File: chemmacros.module.phases.code.tex 2016/06/08 v5.7a chemmacros module `pha
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File: chemmacros.module.tikz.code.tex 2016/06/08 v5.7a chemmacros module `tikz'
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File: pgfsys-pdftex.def 2014/10/11  (rcs-revision 1.35)
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File: pgfsyssoftpath.code.tex 2013/09/09  (rcs-revision 1.9)
File: pgfsysprotocol.code.tex 2006/10/16  (rcs-revision 1.4)
File: pgfcorepoints.code.tex 2013/10/07  (rcs-revision 1.27)
File: pgfcorepathconstruct.code.tex 2013/10/07  (rcs-revision 1.29)
File: pgfcorepathusage.code.tex 2014/11/02  (rcs-revision 1.24)
File: pgfcorescopes.code.tex 2015/05/08  (rcs-revision 1.46)
File: pgfcoregraphicstate.code.tex 2014/11/02  (rcs-revision 1.12)
File: pgfcoretransformations.code.tex 2015/08/07  (rcs-revision 1.20)
File: pgfcorequick.code.tex 2008/10/09  (rcs-revision 1.3)
File: pgfcoreobjects.code.tex 2006/10/11  (rcs-revision 1.2)
File: pgfcorepathprocessing.code.tex 2013/09/09  (rcs-revision 1.9)
File: pgfcorearrows.code.tex 2015/05/14  (rcs-revision 1.43)
File: pgfcoreshade.code.tex 2013/07/15  (rcs-revision 1.15)
File: pgfcoreimage.code.tex 2013/07/15  (rcs-revision 1.18)
File: pgfcoreexternal.code.tex 2014/07/09  (rcs-revision 1.21)
File: pgfcorelayers.code.tex 2013/07/18  (rcs-revision 1.7)
File: pgfcoretransparency.code.tex 2013/09/30  (rcs-revision 1.5)
File: pgfcorepatterns.code.tex 2013/11/07  (rcs-revision 1.5)
File: pgfmoduleshapes.code.tex 2014/03/21  (rcs-revision 1.35)
File: pgfmoduleplot.code.tex 2015/08/03  (rcs-revision 1.13)
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File: pd1enc.def 2016/06/24 v6.83q Hyperref: PDFDocEncoding definition (HO)
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File: hpdftex.def 2016/06/24 v6.83q Hyperref driver for pdfTeX
File: puenc.def 2016/06/24 v6.83q Hyperref: PDF Unicode definition (HO)
File: omlntxmi.fd 2015/08/25 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for OML/ntxmi.
File: untxexa.fd 2012/04/16 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for U/ntxexa.
File: ts1cmr.fd 2014/09/29 v2.5h Standard LaTeX font definitions
File: lmsntxsy.fd 2016/07/02 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for LMS/ntxsy.
File: lmxntxexx.fd 2016/07/03 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for LMX/ntxexx.
File: epstopdf-sys.cfg 2010/07/13 v1.3 Configuration of (r)epstopdf for TeX Liv
File: siunitx-abbreviations.cfg 2016/11/24 v2.7 siunitx: Abbreviated units
File: translations-basic-dictionary-english.trsl (english translation file `tra
File: ot1ntxtlf.fd 2015/01/17 v1.0 font definition file for OT1/ntx/tlf
File: untxmia.fd 2016/01/31 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for U/ntxmia.
File: untxsym.fd 2015/03/20 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for U/ntxsym.
File: untxsyc.fd 2012/04/12 Fontinst v1.933 font definitions for U/ntxsyc.
File: t1qhv.fd 2009/09/25 v1.2 font definition file for T1/qhv
File: t1ntxtt.fd 2012/04/20 v3.1
File: head_foot/DOI.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: head_foot/dates.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: t1bch.fd 2004/10/18 font definitions for T1/bch.
File: mt-bch.cfg 2007/03/03 v1.5 microtype config. file: Bitstream Charter (RS)
File: ts1bch.fd 2004/10/18 font definitions for TS1/bch.
File: head_foot/journal_name.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: head_foot/header_bar.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: head_foot/RSC_LOGO_CMYK.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: head_foot/LF.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: head_foot/RF.pdf Graphic file (type pdf)
File: ts1qhv.fd 2009/09/25 v1.2 font definition file for TS1/qhv

Edit3: I found another computer where I haven't updated LaTeX in a while, and it still compiles properly there: fancyhdr 2017/06/30 v3.9a Extensive control of page headers and footer is the version installed there.

  • 2
    Is there any chance you could paste the MNEW 2 again and format is as code (with the {} button or by indentng it with four space) and not as a quote? Unfortunately, due to the line breaks introduced by the backend, it is quite a lot of work to reformat the code.
    – moewe
    May 21, 2019 at 5:03
  • 2
    Can you maybe find out the package versions from back when your code would compile correctly? Then we would at least have something to compare.
    – moewe
    May 21, 2019 at 5:05
  • 4
    Check if there is a warning from fancyhdr in the log. May 21, 2019 at 6:58
  • 2
    OK I did try a few changes but in principle am against making significant changes, what I did notice is that if you comment out the first page header definition then other pages revert to a naural behaviour SO against my better judgement. IF you comment out the %HEADER% down to %END HEADER% i.e. roughly lines 46-52 AND ALSO comment the line `\fancypagestyle{plain}{% that is above it you loose their LOGO but pages appear more natural
    – user170109
    May 21, 2019 at 23:01
  • 1
    OK if 3.9a works for you (and probably others such as RCS at the time) Now myself and probably others (yourself when raising ? what changed) are most likely using 3.10 (I am) so potentially you have a clear answer copy the older fancyhdr.sty to your work folder ?
    – user170109
    May 22, 2019 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


[Disclaimer: I'm a support personnel at Overleaf.] The RSC templates at https://www.overleaf.com/gallery/tagged/rsc-official have now all been updated so that they are compatible with TeX Live 2018 and newer. We've informed the RSC about our changes, but it looks like the direct link to the .zip at https://www.rsc.org/journals-books-databases/journal-authors-reviewers/author-tools-services/ hasn't been updated yet.

If you don't have an Overleaf account so can't download the updated template from Overleaf, you can make the following changes in your current files, to fix this issue:

Look for lines that look like this in your .tex file:


and delete them.

Next, look for the \vspace{3cm} near the \twocolumn[...]. Add the following before this \vspace{3cm}:


And change the \vspace{3cm} to \vspace{1em}.

  • 1
    thank you so much! you're the real MVP.
    – balborian
    Mar 3, 2020 at 17:31
  • Thanks for this! I played around with the spacing a little bit and I believe it's more appropriate to change \vspace{3cm} to \vspace{3\parsep}. The 1em seems just a bit too narrow when compared to the previous results with the RSC template.
    – Wouter
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:11
  • RSC still has not updated. Oct 2, 2020 at 2:29

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