[texhax] making a document smaller

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Nov 3 23:15:33 CET 2009

On 3 November 2009 P. R. Stanley wrote:

> Hi folks
> I have a table that is constructed in the tabular environment and
> comprises 34 rows. At present it requires two A4 pages. I'm wondering
> if there is a way of squeezing the data into one a4 sheet. [...]

Hi Paul,
I wouldn't try to squeeze it into a single page.  If fonts are too
small, it's a pain to read the text.  IMO \small is ok and
\footnotesize is a last resort, everything else is problematic.

But your problem is that you have 34 rows (not 34 columns), right?

If this is true, I recommend the longtable package.  It not only
allows page breaks within tables, it also adds a header to each part
of a split table.  And it can do much more.

In order to create beautiful tables, I usually

1. avoid any vertical lines,

2. use \hline only above and below the table head and at the bottom
of the table,

3. increase the value of \arraystretch a bit.  The default is 1 and
values between 1.2 and 1.4 are appropriate.  The value of
\arraystretch is multiplied by \baselineskip within tables.  BTW,
\arraystretch is a macro, not a length register, and thus has to
be re-defined by \renewcommand,

4. Tables sometimes can be large, and then it's useful to typeset
them in \small.  But if this is necessary, all tables should be
typeset this way, not only a particular one.

Regards,
Reinhard

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