[Tex/LaTex] Controlling the exact position of objects on a page


I'm using Linux on a server (CentOS 5) to generate a one page PDF report using LaTeX. The LaTeX distribution is quite old – latex --version returns the following:

pdfeTeX 3.141592-1.21a-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.4)
kpathsea version 3.5.4
Copyright (C) 1997-2004 Peter Breitenlohner (eTeX)/Han The Thanh (pdfTeX).
Kpathsea is copyright (C) 1997-2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
There is NO warranty.  Redistribution of this software is
covered by the terms of both the pdfeTeX copyright and
the GNU General Public License.
For more information about these matters, see the files
named COPYING and the pdfeTeX source.
Primary author of pdfeTeX: Peter Breitenlohner (eTeX)/Han The Thanh (pdfTeX).
Kpathsea written by Karl Berry and others.

As a result, there are several packages that are not available to me (wallpaper for example). I've made a pdf file for headers and footers which I insert as figures at the top and bottom of the page, and have some images inserted in the center part of the page. Is there a way that I can specify the location of objects using co-ordinates, rather than letting LaTeX choose the positioning? For the most part my current layout is satisfactory, but I would like to make sure that my footer is locked to the bottom of the page (for example).

I'd prefer not to install a recent version of LaTeX on the server as most things are currently working but just need some fine tuning.

Best Answer

Place a \begin{picture}(0,0) in the header of the page so that it makes a zero-sized box at a know position, then you can \put text or graphics at exact coordinates relative to that box.

There is an example of this technique in my answer to

Implementing line-based corporate design in LaTeX

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