# [OS X TeX] How to fit a table into the letter size paper

David Watson dewatson at me.com
Mon Dec 29 19:13:55 EST 2008

Alain,

I think most of the of the space savings in this case come from
a) making the units into math operations and then
b) using math mode to change the original powers into superscripts, and
c) positioning the units on a line underneath the heading.

The tables in Tufte's "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information"
and the documentation for the "booktabs" package provide prime
examples of what "tables" should look like.

As far as defining new math operations, I think I would prefer to use
the "SIunits" package in order to facilitate generation of metric
units, not to disparage the elegant example that was provided.

To the point, the original poster {\em seems} to be asking how to
fashion a table that will fit onto letter paper which will be utilized
for the recording of data from some sort of physical experiments. In
such a case I would prefer a sheet of graph paper, possibly located
within a laboratory notebook, or loose leaf in the case of an
undergraduate course where the binding is unimportant.

Given the fact that the data in column 1 (or 0 for you computer
science persons) are so miniscule in relation to the column headers, I
would opt to either:
a) use a landscape orientation and format the table as the original
poster suggested, or
b) use OpenOffice Calc or MS Excel or some sort of tab-delimited text
file for the recording of such data.

I could be completely wrong about the intention of the original
poster, so understand this would be my approach given what I assume
the original assumptions were.

On Dec 29, 2008, at 5:16 PM, Alain Schremmer wrote:

>
> On Dec 29, 2008, at 5:18 PM, Ross Moore wrote:
>
>> If you want a wide table to look good, then you
>> have to put serious work into formatting the row
>> header cells, by careful choice of styles, sizes,
>> widths and alignments.
>
> […]
>
>> Here's what can be done, in your case:
>>
>> <texshop_image.jpeg>
>> Here's the modified coding (additions to preamble
>> and the coding for the table itself):
>>
>>
>> \newcommand{\cm}{\mathop{\mathrm{cm}}}
>> \newcommand{\gm}{\mathop{\mathrm{g}}}
>> \newcommand{\secs}{\mathop{\mathrm{s}}}
>>
>>  \centering \scriptsize$#2$\par}}
>> \newcommand{\widecol}{1.5cm}
>> \newcommand{\medcol}{1.31cm}
>> \newcommand{\normcol}{.8cm}
>>
>> \begin{document}
>> \maketitle
>>
>> \noindent
>> {\footnotesize  % local table definitions
>> %\begin{tabular}{ccccccccccc}
>> \begin{tabular}{cllllllllll}
>> \hline
>> \\
>> \noalign{\vskip-\medskipamount}
>> 0--2 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 2--5 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> \phantom{1}5--10 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 10--20 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 20--30 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 30--45 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 45--60 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 60--75 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 75--90 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> \phantom{1}90--105 & & & & & & & & & & \\
>> 105--120+\kern-8pt& & & & & & & & & & \\
>> \hline
>> \end{tabular}
>> }% end of local table definitions
>
> A superb example of the difference between an expert and a clod like
> myself—who is going to study the example.
>
> Envious regards
> --schremmer