This is a guest post by Gregori Kanatzidis from SpanDeX. Tables are a tricky business in LaTeX. Tables typically have their own formatting, and worse, are usually created in other applications. The commands and packages provided with LaTeX go some ways to making tables easier to use, but the clunky nature of the syntax make tables one of the worst parts of formatting a document. In this post, I’ll go over some of the drawbacks of LaTeX tables, and some tools that exist to make working with tables in LaTeX a bit easier.
Posts Tagged ‘tables’:
Almost every research paper and thesis in statistics contains at least some tables, yet students are rarely taught how to make good tables. While the principles of good graphics are slowly becoming part of a statistical education (although not an econometrics education!), the principles of good tables are often ignored. Perhaps people think they are obvious, although the results I see in papers and theses suggest otherwise.
Making tables in LaTeX is one of the few areas where LaTeX is more difficult than a WYSIWYG editor. Here are some pointers to tools and packages that I have found useful. Excel2LaTeX: this excel add-in makes it easy to copy a rectangular array of cells in a spreadsheet into a LaTeX document. The LaTeX wikibook has a great page on producing tables in LaTeX. Toolkit Installator:this is a collection of add-ins for WinEdt. It contains two features that are useful for tables. A graphic table designer for inputting simple tables. A utility for making existing tables neat by lining up the & and removing unnecessary space. Tutorials on tables from the Indian TeX users group: The basics Long tables Coloured tables The array package for applying formatting commands to whole columns and providing additional formatting options for paragraph-like columns. The tabularx package for setting a table with fixed-width and paragraph columns with width automatically calculated. The booktabs package for providing nicer horizontal lines and better spacing control. The longtables package for tables that are too big for a single page. Typesetting tables with LaTeX: a nice (and short) article covering the basics as well as the above four packages. Typesetting tables with LaTeX: video of Klaus Höppner giving a talk based on the above