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Document 356

Error: Too many unprocessed floats

Version: 3.x, 4.x, 5.x - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word


Typesetting the document results in this LaTeX error message:

Too many unprocessed floats

The message appears in the LaTeX window and in the .log file for the document.


Documents that contain many floating objects may occasionally encounter LaTeX processing problems. When you typeset your document, LaTeX tries to process floating objects as it encounters them, anchoring them throughout the document. However, if it can't place an object because of its size or if float placement options don't fit, LaTeX holds the object and all following floating objects until the end of the document. If there are too many such objects for LaTeX to handle, it generates the error message.


You can force LaTeX to process floating objects with a TeX command in the body of your document. Alternatively, you can use the float package or the placeins package to manage the placement of floating objects.

Method 1: Use a \clearpage command

The \clearpage command forces LaTeX to output any floating objects that occur in the document before the command.

  1. Place the insertion point in an appropriate location in your document, such as the end of a chapter or section.

    You may have to experiment to find the best location for the command.

  2. Enter a TeX field.

  3. In the entry area, type \clearpage and choose OK.

  4. Save and typeset the document.

Method 2: Use the float package

The float package includes the "HERE" placement option, which forces the placement at the current location of the floating object, even if typographically HERE is a bad choice. Read more about the float package. (If you're using Version 3.0, download a newer version of the tcilatex.tex file, as described in the article. If you are using Version 3.5 or later, you already have a newer version of the tcilatex.tex file and don't need to download it.) This option isn't available if you're using the Portable LaTeX filter or creating a PDF file.

  1. Add the float package to your document.

  2. Edit the properties of all floating graphics to select only the here placement option.

  3. Edit the properties of all tables that float; that is, tables created with the fragment table-(4x3, floating):

    1. For each table, select the TeX field named [B] and choose Properties.

    2. In the floating table field, find the string \begin{table}[tbp]\centering.

    3. Change [tbp] to [H].

    4. Choose OK.

Method 3: Use the placeins package

To create barriers in your document beyond which floating objects can't be typeset, use the placeins package.

You can prevent floating objects from appearing in the next section:

  1. Add the placeins package to your document.

  2. From the Typeset menu, choose Options and Packages and then choose the Package Options tab.

  3. From the Packages in Use list, select the placeins package and choose Modify.

  4. In the Category list, select Barrier at section and, in the Options list, select Yes.

  5. Choose OK to close each dialog box and return to your document.

You can also prevent a floating object from appearing after a designated point:

  1. Add the placeins package to your document.

  2. Place the insertion point where you want accumulated floating objects to appear.

  3. Enter an encapsulated TeX field.

  4. In the entry area, type \FloatBarrier and choose OK.

By default, the \FloatBarrier command is very strict. It prevents a floating object from appearing above the start of the current section or below the start of the next section, even if the floating object would appear on the same page as its intended section. Each restriction can be relaxed separately by using the above and below package options.

Last revised 03/02/06

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