Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Explaining floats in LaTeX

A PhD students recently had a hard time placing floats (figures and table environments) where they wanted in their LaTeX document. I also have just finished teaching LaTeX to all our first years here at +Cardiff University so I thought I'd brush up on my own understanding of these things to make sure that I was explaining things correctly.

I stumbled on the following stackoverflow TeX.Stackexchange (thanks to +Torbjørn Taskjelle for pointing out this and other mistakes) answer: http://goo.gl/A9iJnP

Here's a +writeLaTeX document working through some examples showing the various options that allow you to control floats within the default restrictions: https://www.writelatex.com/read/qkjpvqptqrwd (at the moment that's a read only link but I've suggested it as a template to the writeLaTeX team in case it's useful to anyone). EDIT: Here's the link to the template: http://goo.gl/UmLFr3

I think that reading through the code (which explains how I understand these things to work) could prove helpful when trying to explain how the various options work. Once that's done I'd suggest playing with the following options on the rabbit figure:

- [t]
- [!t]
- [p]
- [!h]
- [!htbp]

and others to see the effects.

If anything I've written in that document (https://www.writelatex.com/read/qkjpvqptqrwd) isn't quite right I'd appreciate being told :)