# [XeTeX] tabular getting flattened into one line

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Sep 21 15:18:32 CEST 2006

On 20 Sep 2006, at 1:49 am, Cyril wrote:

> I've tried getting it as simple as possible and did a test run with
> LaTeX, with no success either.
>
> \documentclass[a4paper,10pt]{article}
> \lineskiplimit=-1000pt
>
> \begin{document}
>
> \begin{tabular}{ll}
> French  & English\\
> German  &  Dutch\\
>
> \end{tabular}
>
> \end{document}

This confirms that the "flattened" tabular is nothing to do with
xetex itself, as plain latex does the same thing.

which you can confirm by inserting "\showthe\baselineskip" within the
environment (compare the result outside). It then relies on the
height of the actual line contents to control the spacing. I expect
it automatically inserts invisible "struts" so as to maintain
consistent spacing (unless large symbols are present). Setting an
extremely negative \lineskiplimit defeats this, as the lines are then
allowed to overlap, and there is no default \baselineskip (as with
running text) to fall back on.

As Will pointed out, the line-spacing issues that this \lineskiplimit
setting may have been designed to work around have since been changed
in xetex, so the setting is probably unnecessary. If you do still
need a negative lineskiplimit because certain tall/deep characters
disturb the line spacing, then just a small negative value (a few
points) is likely to be sufficient, and in this case tabular
environments will not be affected by it because their baselineskip is
such that the overlap will be greater than this, and lineskip will
still kick in.

JK