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I am trying to create a fairly thin table with wider caption and wider note than the body of the table itself. My aim is not to make the table simply wider, since this makes the table look ugly and the values seem to be lost. Is there a way to solve this problem simple and smooth? Thanks a lot for every comment!

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{threeparttable}
\usepackage{booktabs}

\begin{document}


\begin{table}[h]
\centerline{
\begin{threeparttable}
\caption{The is ment to be a very long table caption, which is wider than the table itself.}
\label{table:meanerrorbaseline}

\begin{tabular}{cc}
\toprule
Endowment & Mean error \\ 
\midrule
0         & 1.67       \\
1         & 1.49*      \\
2         & 1.42**     \\
3         & 1.30***    \\
4         & 1.15***    \\
5         & 1.15***    \\
6         & 1.09***    \\
7         & 1.02***    \\
8         & 0.92***    \\
9         & 0.85***    \\
10        & 0.76**     \\
\bottomrule
\end{tabular}

\begin{tablenotes}
  \small
     \item The note is ment to be wider than the table itself, without having to make  the table wider and making it look ugly. 
   \end{tablenotes}
\end{threeparttable}
}
\end{table}
\end{document}
share|improve this question
    
I'm having trouble getting your example to compile. Can you make it so that you have \documentclass and \begin/\end{document}? –  cslstr Mar 9 at 18:27
    
I have just updated the code and it works now with my compiler. Sry for the mistake! –  meierun Mar 9 at 19:07
    
I still had issues with the \centerline command... I changed it over to be a {\centering ...} construct. –  cslstr Mar 9 at 19:24

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I still am having issues with the \centerline command; this isn't the best centering command to use, I'd recommend the \begin{center} environment or {\centering ... } instead.

So the real answer to your question is to use

\renewcommand{\TPTminimum}{\linewidth}

to redefine the minimum amount of space that is used by the caption and the notes in the threeparttable environment. Doing so like this gives a result that, strictly, is what you asked for:

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{threeparttable}
\usepackage{booktabs}

\begin{document}


\begin{table}[h]

\begin{threeparttable}
\renewcommand{\TPTminimum}{\linewidth}
\caption{The is ment to be a very long table caption, which is wider than the table itself.}
\label{table:meanerrorbaseline}
{\centering
\begin{tabular}{cc}
\toprule
Endowment & Mean error \\ 
\midrule
0         & 1.67       \\
1         & 1.49*      \\
2         & 1.42**     \\
3         & 1.30***    \\
4         & 1.15***    \\
5         & 1.15***    \\
6         & 1.09***    \\
7         & 1.02***    \\
8         & 0.92***    \\
9         & 0.85***    \\
10        & 0.76**     \\
\bottomrule
\end{tabular}
}
\begin{tablenotes}
  \small
     \item The note is ment to be wider than the table itself, without having to make  the table wider and making it look ugly. 
   \end{tablenotes}
\end{threeparttable}

\end{table}
\end{document}

...it looks like this:

table wide offcenter

Your next logical question would be, "How do I center the table within the caption?" The only recommended solution I could find to this was in Why isn't my table centering with threeparttable?. The answers there either omitted the caption at the top of the table or did not deal with the wide table issue (omitting the \renewcommand{\TPTminimum}{...}). Using the \makebox... solution, we come close to what is desired, but only if the caption is left off, or moved to the bottom:

\documentclass[]{article}

\usepackage{threeparttable}
\usepackage{booktabs}

\begin{document}

\begin{table}[h]
\begin{threeparttable}
\renewcommand{\TPTminimum}{\linewidth}
%\caption{The is ment to be a very long table caption, which is wider than the table itself.}
%\label{table:meanerrorbaseline}
\makebox[\linewidth]{%
\begin{tabular}{cc}
\toprule
Endowment & Mean error \\ 
\midrule
0         & 1.67 \\
1         & 1.49*      \\
2         & 1.42**     \\
3         & 1.30***    \\
4         & 1.15***    \\
5         & 1.15***    \\
6         & 1.09***    \\
7         & 1.02***    \\
8         & 0.92***    \\
9         & 0.85***    \\
10        & 0.76**     \\
\bottomrule
\end{tabular}}
\begin{tablenotes}
  \small
  \item The note is meant to be wider than the table itself, without having to make  the table wider and making it look ugly. 
   \end{tablenotes}
\end{threeparttable}
\end{table}

\end{document}

Without the caption, this appears as:

wide table, no caption, centered

So how do we get both? The solution I came up with uses extra columns on the sides of the table that pad the table, centering it within the caption. It is a bit of a hack, but it solves the problem in a way that other more elegant solutions cannot.

The code:

\documentclass[]{article}

\usepackage{threeparttable}
\usepackage{booktabs}

\begin{document}

\begin{table}[h]
\begin{threeparttable}
%\renewcommand{\TPTminimum}{\linewidth}
\caption{The is ment to be a very long table caption, which is wider than the table itself.}
\label{table:meanerrorbaseline}
\begin{tabular}{cccc}
\cmidrule[\heavyrulewidth]{2-3} % \toprule
~\rule{1in}{0in} & Endowment & Mean error  & \rule{1in}{0in}~ \\ 
\cmidrule[\lightrulewidth]{2-3} % \midrule
& 0         & 1.67 &  \\
& 1         & 1.49*    &   \\
& 2         & 1.42**    &  \\
& 3         & 1.30***  &   \\
& 4         & 1.15***   &  \\
& 5         & 1.15***   &  \\
& 6         & 1.09***   &  \\
& 7         & 1.02***   &  \\
& 8         & 0.92***   &  \\
& 9         & 0.85***   &  \\
& 10        & 0.76**    &  \\
\cmidrule[\heavyrulewidth]{2-3} % \bottomrule
\end{tabular}
\begin{tablenotes}
  \small
  \item The note is meant to be wider than the table itself, without having to make  the table wider and making it look ugly. 
   \end{tablenotes}
\end{threeparttable}
\end{table}

\end{document}

This appears as:

wide captions, centered table

share|improve this answer
    
Great!! Thanks a lot!! –  meierun Mar 9 at 21:40

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