[texhax] Adapting Malcolm Clark's methods to example in Seroul and Levy

Suresh Govindachar sgovindachar at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 17 04:17:55 CET 2015

% plain TeX with pdftex
% Goal:  to create a table which contains not only horizontally
%        combined cells but also vertically combined cells
% Used the library and looked at about 10 books on plain TeX -- only
% one, Malcolm Clark's ``A Plain TeX Primer'' addresses creation of
% such tables (refer Figures 15.3 and 16.3 of this book).
% Below is my attempt at modifying the table from Section 9.10 of
% Seroul and Levy's ``A Beginner's Book of TeX'' by using Clark's
% ideas to add both horizontally and vertically combined cells;  but
% this attempt fails with the issues of (a) vertical centering,
% (b) excess vertical space,  and (c) vertical "barbs".
% The \def\foovrule and \def\foohrulefill in the code are my
% attempts to resolve the issues by controlling the height and
% depth (of vrule and hrulefill) -- but these attempts failed.

     %\def\foovrule{\vrule height 0pt depth 0pt}

     %\def\foohrulefill{\leaders\hrule height 0pt depth 0pt \hfill}

      \def\mr{\omit&height 2pt&&&&&&\cr}
          \vbox to#1\normalbaselineskip
              \noalign{\hrule} \mr
              &&\omit\bf name&&
                     \bf type&&
                     \bf value&\cr
              \mr \noalign{\hrule} \mr
              &&x&& integer&&   1987&     \cr
              \mr \noalign{\hrule} \mr
              &&y&& real&&      3.14159&  \cr
              \mr \noalign{\hrule} \mr
              &&\vspan2{entry needs lowering}&& excess space below&& 
excess space below& \cr
                 \omit\foohrulefill\foovrule  \cr
              &&&& \multispan3  small vertical barbs from column 
divider& \cr
              \mr \noalign{\hrule} \mr
              &&z&& boolean&&   false&    \cr
              \mr \noalign{\hrule}


% Would appreciate insights into what's going on.
% Thanks,
% --Suresh

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