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Chapter 5. Tabular Material > 5.3. Calculating column widths

5.3. Calculating column widths

As described in Appendix A.2, LaTeX has two distinct modes for setting text: LR mode, in which the text is set in a single line, and paragraph mode, in which text is broken into lines of a specified length. This distinction strongly influences the design of the LaTeX table commands. The l, c, and r column types specify table entries set in LR mode whereas p, and the array package m and b types, specify table entries set in paragraph mode.

The need to specify the width of paragraph mode entries in advance sometimes causes difficulties when setting tables. We will describe several approaches that calculate the required column widths based on the required total width of the table and/or the table contents.

5.3.1. Explicit calculation of column widths


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