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### 5.4. Multipage tabular material

With Leslie Lamport’s original implementation, a tabular environment must always fit on one page. If it becomes too large, the text will overwrite the page’s bottom margin, and you will get an Overfull \vbox message.

Multipage tables in multicolumn typesetting

Two package files are available to construct tables longer than one page, supertabular and longtable. They share a similar functionality, but use rather different syntax. The longtable package uses a more complicated mechanism, working with TeX’s output routine to obtain optimal page breaks and to preserve the width of columns across all pages of a table. However, this mechanism may require the document to be processed several times before the correct table widths are calculated. The supertabular package essentially breaks the table into a sequence of page-sized tabular environments, and each page is then typeset separately. This approach does not require multiple passes and works in a larger range of circumstances. In particular, the longtable package does not support two-column or multicolumn mode.

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