[OS X TeX] Tex Day 1; texstart.tex + TeXShop = badly formatted.

Herb Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Sun Nov 28 10:15:59 EST 2004

On 11/28/04 2:16 AM, "bb" <bruce_spam at earthreflections.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I tried searching the archive regarding this issue, didn't see anything...
> Problem:
> With all default settings, after opening and "typsetting" the
> texstart.tex file the order of paragraphs in the preview display is
> wrong. What I'm seeing is:
>  on page 3
> Chapter 6 Graphics - Figure 1 is OK;
>  on page 4
> Figure 2 is OK on the top of page 4.
> then Chapter 7 - Tables
> then Chapter 8 - Fonts as far as "it can however be a labori-"
> Then Figure 3, and figure 3 caption of the Graphics chapter cuts in.
>  on page 5
> The there is Table 1 and the rest of the "laborious process"
> paragraph that was cut off, above. (The first paragraph of chapter 8).
> A PDF's worth 1K words?  Here's the output:
> http://www.earthreflections.com/texstartproblem.pdf
> It's as though the table and last paragraph on page 5 should be on page 4.
> ...  
> Given that this is my "first day" with TeX I have no idea where to
> begin trouble-shooting this... is Tex OK but the LaTeX macros off?
> Did texstart.tex work with the 2003 code but start failing with 2004.
> Is this apparently "random" shuffling of paragraphs somehow
> intentional? Is this a Mac OS-only problem? Is the problem in
> "TeXshop"?
> Thanks for any assistance.
> Bruce


Looks like you're doing ok for your first day!

The problems with floats is known and work towards doing a better job of
dealing with them is ongoing as part of LaTeX3. For the time being you can
make the optional parameters of the figure and table environments---the ones
between [ and ]---and set them all to `htbp' (without the ` and '). This
tells LaTeX to first try to here (at the point of definition of the figure)
and if the criteria for fitting there aren't met to then try the top of the
next page, then the bottom of the next page and lastly on a page that only
contains figures.

If I make all the figures and the table have the parameters [htbp] (which
may actually be the default you get if no parameters are set at all) things
look pretty good but the table ends up on a page by itself at the very end
of the document. That isn't bad by itself but it looks kind of funny there
centered on a page by itself.

By the way, this isn't the worst thing that can happen with floats. LaTeX
will always put floats in order (figure 1 before figure 2, etc.) so if some
figure or group of figures can't ever meet the criteria of fitting anywhere
they will all end up at the end of the document or you'll get an error

In the final analysis, there are times when you are forced to re-think or
re-write small parts of a document so that breaks, etc., work out to
perfection. LaTeX does a pretty good job of getting it right all by itself.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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