[texhax] Float page extra large top margin?

Paul Levine circumspectral at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 10:08:08 CEST 2006

Greetings TeX gurus and everyday users alike,

My master's thesis is the first document I have written using TeX or  
LaTeX, and at this point I am more than halfway through and I have  
been able to figure out everything I have needed to through a wide  
variety of online resources including the archives of this list.  I  
started a few months ago knowing nothing and now I know just enough  
to be dangerous.

I am having a problem with a floating table that appears on a float  
page all by itself, and the top of the table begins about 1/4 inch  
below the position where the top line of text is on a text page.  I  
can use a "word processor" analogy to describe it by saying it looks  
as though the "top margin" setting was increased 1/4 inch on this  
page.  This would not be such a problem except that the bottom of the  
table is about 1/8 inch too low on the page, so I would like the  
entire table to sit 1/4 inch higher on the page.  This would put the  
top of the table at the same height as the top line of text on text  
pages, and the bottom of the table would not extend too low.  I would  
really not like to have to shrink the font size or remove a row to  
make the table fit on one page.

I am using the uclathes.cls (I go to UCLA) which uses a file called  
uclath12.clo to get its spacing parameters, which establishes:

\@fptop 0pt plus 1fil    % Stretch at top of float page/column. (Must  
be 0pt plus ...)
\@fpsep 10pt plus 2fil    % Space between floats on float page/column.
\@fpbot 0pt plus 1fil    % Stretch at bottom of float page/column.  
(Must be 0pt plus ... )

Then, I found this http://www.math.upenn.edu/tex_docs/help/faq/uktug- 
faq/FAQ182.html which I will quote from below:

The LaTeX defaults are:
\@fptop = (0pt + 1fil) - \@fpsep
\@fpsep = 8pt + 2fil
\@fpbot = 0pt + 1fil
so that the gaps expand to fill the space not occupied by floats, but  
if there is more than one float on the page, the gap between them  
will expand to twice the space at top and bottom.

Those who understand this stuff will be able to play elaborate games,  
but the commonest requirement, that the floats start at the top of  
the page, is a simple thing to do:



So I am left a bit confused as to how to proceed.  First of all, the  
syntax in the example and the syntax in uclath12.clo are different,  
and I'm not sure how meaningful that is.  Furthermore, I am not sure  
whether I am supposed to just add the three lines from the example,  
or replace something else with them.  Should I put them in the  
uclath12.clo, the uclathes.cls, or the preamble of my document?   I  
tried placing the three lines in my preamble, but it had the effect  
of making the table actually sit a little LOWER on the page than before.

I also tried changing the uclath12.clo to say
\@fptop 0pt plus 1fil
(instead of 1fil) but this had no apparent effect.

I would like to do what the example says, which is have the float  
start at the top of the page, but I'm not even certain that I am on  
the right track here with this solution, which was designed to help  
with float pages centering small floats on a float page.  Any  
suggestions of what other parameters to look into (in addition to  
@fptop) would be most welcome, as would any other advice.  I would be  
happy to post the contents of what I am working with if that would help.

Many thanks in advance,

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