Articles on: Writing

How to prevent wide or long tables from overflowing in the exported PDF

Basic tables

If your table is too wide and/or long and it does not easily fit on a Letter/A4 page, we suggest you customize the table look. Every table can be customized in its look: the number of rows and columns you want to export, as well as the font size. Just click on the table to see what options are available.

Table Options

LaTeX tables

Is your table written in LaTeX? If so, keep reading for suggestions on how to fix horizontal and vertical flow.

Horizontal Overflow (Wide Tables)

A standard table in LaTeX is typically realized via the {tabular} environment. However, if the content is too wide to fit a single line of a printed page, the resulting PDF eventually looks broken as the content gets clipped at the edge of the page. You can see an example in Table 1 from this Authorea-generated PDF export.

To counteract this, one may use the more advanced {tabulary} package, a detailed introduction to which can be found here. The main difference in effect is that tabulary will re-wrap all column content so that it will fit the page, even if some content has to be pushed down some rows. The syntax is also slightly different (capital letters for the L,C,R column format letters), but it is mostly a drop-in replacement.

Vertical Overflow (Long Tables)

Similarly to wide tables, a long table done with {tabular} will be clipped at the bottom end of the page, losing any content that couldn't fit. To avoid that one can use the {longtable} environment instead, which gracefully continues on the following page with any remaining content. There are advanced customization options available for the appearance of a longtable, which can be studied in more detail here.

Updated on: 12/12/2017