Automatically arranging multiple figures on one page without wasting space

by Schnou   Last Updated January 11, 2019 11:23 AM

In short I am looking for a way to fit as many figures on one page as possible and I would want Latex to automatically arrange them for me as compact as possible. Can that be done or do I need to arrange them individually?

I am writing a paper and need to include all figures (about 400) discussed in the paper at the very end in the appendix. The figures are of different sizes and I need them to appear at exactly their specific size (in cm) in the printed version, so I can't scale them in any way to fit them on the page. Most of them are rather small and I expect to place roughly 15 figures per A4 page.

It should end up looking something like this: enter image description here

I would like to be able to decide which pictures belong to the same group that should go on one page together, but I don't care how they are arranged on said page. I don't need them to fit a specific grid or pattern or appear in a specific order. Since there are so many however, I would like them to fit on the page with as little wasted empty space as possible. (If the chosen figures in one group don't all fit on one page due to their size being incompatible, I am okay with distributing them over multiple pages, again ideally as compact as possible).

I know I can manually arrange all the pictures as I would want them to appear, but given that the figures vary so much in size figuring out how to best fit them together on a page is a lot of work. And since Latex usually figures out the optimal placement of a picture in relation to the text on any given page I was hoping it could do the same in relation to any given number of other figures on a page.

I am not sure this is even possible and I can't seem to find any instructions on how I would go about doing this.

So far any way I have tried to go about this, it always tries to insert the pictures in exactly the order that I write them in, regardless of their size, which ends up looking horribly messy. Does anybody have any input?

Tags : spacing floats

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