We are using Lyx to write our paper (using IEEEtrans class, which is a 2-column layout). In this paper we have a figure that is to big to fit into one column. Poking here and there, I could not find information on how to do it. Searching the internet found pointers to do it in LaTeX, but no information on how to do it in Lyx. Finally, I decided to read the .lyx source manually (with "vi", of course). I found this line: \begin_layout Standard \begin_inset Float figure placement htbp wide false sideways false status open So, I changed the "wide false" to "wide true". And now my figure spans into two columns. I am a happy camper now. I hope it helps.