Tables in LaTeX

Tables are used to envision the data in a structured way. It makes the information to become more presentable and easier to read. In this tutorial we are going to learn how to create simple and multi-page tables in LaTeX with customization in their rules and spacing, combining and colouring rows and columns, dealing with captions, references, cell width, positioning and omitting cells

How do we create tables in LaTeX?

The tables in LaTeX can be created using the table environment and the tabular environment which uses ampersands (&) as column separators and new line symbols (\\) as row separators. The vertical lines (|) are passed as an argument and the letters l, c and r tell us whether we want to place the content in the left, centre or right respectively. Following is the code and result of a simple table created.


\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\title{table}
\begin{document}
\begin{center}
	\begin{tabular}{ c c c }
		a & b & c \\
		a & b & c \\
		a & b & c \\
	\end{tabular}
\end{center}
\end{document}
                  


Output of the code above


tables-LaTeX-output-img

The \hline command is used to put a horizontal line on the top and bottom of the table. Creating a table with boundaries is demonstrated below:


\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\title{table}
\begin{document}
\begin{center}
	\begin{tabular}{ |c | c | c | }
	\hline
		a & b & c \\
		a & b & c \\
		a & b & c \\
	\hline
	\end{tabular}
\end{center}
\end{document}
                  


Output of the code above


tables-LaTeX-output-boundary-img

The number of times \hline command will be written is the number of horizontal lines that will show between rows. Multiples entries of this command can be used to distinguish between the headings of a column from its details. Tables can be created by providing a fixed length of the columns as well by providing the measurements between the vertical lines (|) where the arguments are passed with the letters. Instead of l, c and r we use m, p and b for middle, top and bottom respectively. For example, { |m{5em} |m{1cm} |m{1cm}| }

Creating multi-page tables:

For creating multiple page tables in LaTeX the user needs to refer to the package longtable. The tables are generated so that they can be broken down by the LaTeX page breaking algorithm. The code uses four elements:
1. \endfirsthead: the content above this command will appear at the beginning of the table on the first page.
2. \endhead: the content put before this command and below \endfirsthead will be displayed at the top of the table on every page except the first one.
3. \endfoot: content put after \endhead and before this command will appear at the bottom of the table on every page except the last one.
4. \endlastfoot: content after \endfoot and before this command will be displayed at the bottom of the table but only in the last page where the table appears.
Example of multi-page tables in LaTeX is shown below:



\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{longtable}
\begin{document}
\begin{longtable} [c] { | c | c | }
\hline
\multicolumn{2} { | c | }{Begin of Table}\\
\hline
Food & Names \\
\hline
\endfirsthead
\hline
\multicolumn{2} { | c | }{Continuation of Table}\ref{long}}\\
\hline
Food & Names\\
\hline
\endhead
\hline
\endfoot
\hline
\multicolumn{2} { | c | }{End of Table}\\
\hline
\endlastfoot
Lots of lines & like this \\
Lots of lines & like this \\
Lots of lines & like this \\
Lots of lines & like this \\
\end{longtable}
\end{document}


                  


Output of the code above


Multi-page-table-LaTeX-output

Combining rows and columns:

The command \multicolumn and \multirow are used to combine rows and columns in a table in LaTeX. Example of multi-column is demonstrated below:



\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\begin{document}
\begin{tabular} { | p {3 cm} | p {3 cm} | p {3 cm} | }
\hline
\multicolumn{3} { | c | }{Books}\\
\hline
Food name & Author & Publication \\
\hline
Book1 & Author1 & P1 \\
Book1 & Author2 & P2 \\
Book1 & Author3 & P3 \\
Book1 & Author4 & P4 \\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{document}

 


Output of the code above


combining-rows-columns-table-LaTeX-output-img

The example of multi-row is as follows:


			   
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\begin{document}
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular} { | c | c | c | c | }
\hline
 c1 & c2 & c3 \\
\hline
\multirow {3} {4em} {a} & b & c \\
& a & b\\
& a & b\\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{center}
\end{document}

			   
			   
			   


Output of the code above


combining-multi-rows-columns-table-LaTeX-output-img

Captions, labels and references:

There are three important commands used are as follows:
1. \caption{}: this command is used to make a caption for the table which is placed either above or below the table.
2. \label{}: this command is used to refer a table within a document.
3. \ref{}: this will be placed by the number corresponding to the referenced table.



\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\begin{document}
\begin{table} [h!]
\centering
\begin{tabular}{ || c c c c || }
\hline
Col1 & Col2 & Col3 & Col4 \\ [0.5 ex]
\hline \hline
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 \\
5 & 6 & 7 & 8 \\
9 & 10 & 11 & 12 \\
13 & 14 & 15 & 16 \\
17 & 18 & 19 & 20 \\ [1ex]
\hline
\end{tabular}
\caption{Table to test captions and labels}
\label {table:1}
\end{table}
\end{document}

 


Output of the code above


caption-label-ref-LaTeX-img

Positioning a table:

For a table to establish at what position it must be placed, a parameter h! has to be placed in table environment. Few other parameters are passed which are mentioned below:
1. h: the table will be placed here approximately.
2. t: the table is placed at the top of the page.
3. b: table is placed at the bottom of the page.
4. p: put table on a special page for tables only.
5. !: override external LaTeX parameter
6. H: place the table at a precise location
7. \centering: centres the table.
Below is an example of a table is placed here



\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\begin{document}
\begin{table} [h!]
\centering
\begin{tabular}{ || c c c c || }
\hline
C1 & C2 & C3 & C4 \\ [0.5ex]
 \hline
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 \\
2 & 7 & 5 & 9 \\
3 & 8 & 7 & 0 \\
4 & 6 & 8 & 6 \\
5 & 8 & 7 & 3 \\ [1ex]
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{table}


 


Output of the code above


postioning-table-img

Colouring a table:

This section includes colouring a row, column, cell and lines. Below explains how:
1. Colour of the lines: In LaTeX a line is coloured using the command \arrayrulecolor.
2. The background colour of a cell: the command \cellcolor is used to set the background colour of a cell. The name of the colour can be set inside the braces or pass a format parameter inside brackets and then set the desired colour inside the braces using the format.
3. The background colour of a row: the command \rowcolor is the background colour of a row.
4. Background colour of a column: the command \newcolumntype{s}{>{\columncolor[HTML]{AAACED}} p{3cm}} is used background colour of column.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[table]{xcolor}
\setlength{\arrayulewidth}{1mm}
\setlength{\tabcolsep}{18pt}
\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{2.5}
\newcolumntype{s}{>{\columncolor[HTML]{AAACED}} p{3cm}}
\arrayulecolor[HTML]{DB5800}
\beging{document}
\begin{tabular} { |s|p{3cm}|p{3cm}| }
\hline
Name & Author & Publication \\
\hline
B1 & A1 & P1 \\
\rowcolor{gray}
B2 & A2 & P2 \\
B3 & A3 & P3 \\
B4 & A4 & P4 \cellcolor [HTML]{AA0044} AND \\
B5 & A5 & P5 \\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{document}


 


Output of the code above


colouring-table-LaTeX-output-img

Line width and Cell padding:

The commands that are used are as following:
1. \setlength{\arrayrulewidth}{1mm}: sets the thickness of the borders of the table.
2. \setlength{\tabcolsep}{18pt}: space between text and left/right border of its containing cell is set to 18pt with this command.
3. \renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.5}: height of each row is set to 1.5 relatives to its default height.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\setlenght{\arrayulewidth}{1mm}
\setlength{\tabcolsep}{18pt}
\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.5}
\begin{document}
\begin{tabular}{ |p{3cm}| p{3cm}| p{3cm}| }
\hline
\multicolumn{3}{|c|}{Country List} \\
\hline
Name & Author & Publication \\
\hline
B1 & A1 & P1 \\
B1 & A1 & P1 \\
B1 & A1 & P1 \\
B1 & A1 & P1 \\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{document}

 


Output of the code above


Line-width-cell-padding-LaTeX-output-img

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