I am working on a paper and the prescribed style dictates that we should use a single column of text; however, we have some relatively tall and thin images. If they are included in the paper in line they would take up the better part of a page with significant empty space to the sides of the image.

I realize that there are several possibilities to circumvent this situation

  1. Rotating the image is possible sometimes
  2. Shrinking the image so it does not take up as much vertical space
  3. Creating graphics comprised of multiple images side by side to create a more favorable aspect ratio

However, if none of these options are possible is it acceptable to wrap the text around the image? If so are there any examples? Would this be a convention that differs between disciplines?

  • 2
    Whenever necessary to keep the paper within whatever arbitrary page limit is being dictated.
    – Maeher
    Oct 22, 2019 at 17:09
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    I don’t see how your figure idea violates the “single column of text” style rule. A figure isn’t text. Sounds fine to me. And if the journal doesn’t like it, they can ask you to change it - such immaterial formatting details don’t affect editorial accept/reject decisions, unless there is a hard page limit you have to conform to.
    – Dan Romik
    Oct 22, 2019 at 17:11
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    You probably want to discuss this with the journal that would be publishing it. Their requirements are not necessarily only style based, but could be technology based. Plus, they have probably had this exact question in the past.
    – puppetsock
    Oct 22, 2019 at 17:16
  • @whalsey: If you want examples, one way to find them would be to skim the journal to find them. I wouldn't pay to do this, but if the journal is free (or if your institution has a subscription to the journal), it's probably not too difficult.
    – Brian
    Oct 22, 2019 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


This is going to largely depend on the style guides of the journal(s) in question. If your long and tall figures are the best way to display the image, wrapping text around them is one feasible solution. The editors of the journal will be able to best guide you on this.

I would submit the manuscript in a clean and readable format, then let the editors decide how they want to format your graphic. I have never heard of a journal rejecting a paper solely because the graphics where of unusual dimensions.

  • If this is covered by a style guides, do not violate them. Journal editors may reject such papers without review; style guide violations are a signal that the author did not properly research the journal they are submitting to. Checking for style guide compliance is less work than reviewing the paper.
    – Brian
    Oct 22, 2019 at 21:39
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    @Brian This is of course true. If the style guide dictates a certain layout for images, following the style guide is important. Even in this case, however, it might not hurt to indicate to the editor that you have very thin images that could be best served by a certain text layout.
    – Vladhagen
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:08

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