# Setting table placement as “here” in a multicol environment, spanning 2 columns

I have a problem with table placement. I want the table to be anchored to the position where it occurs in the text (i.e. "here", "h") and the columns should simply wrap around it. The table should span two columns. In the below code, this is not happening. The table gets tacked on at the end of the all the text - not what I want. Thanks.

\documentclass[a4,12pt]{article}
\usepackage{booktabs}
\usepackage{multicol}
\usepackage{blindtext}

\begin{document}

\begin{multicols}{2}

\blindtext

\begin{table*}[h!]
\small
\centering
\begin{tabular}{@{} l c c @{}}
\toprule
Characteristic & \multicolumn{2}{c}{Result}\\
\cmidrule{2-3}
& Seaweed isolate & Coral isolate \\
\midrule
Cell shape & Rod & Rod\\
Gram stain & $-$ & $-$\\
Oxidase & $+$ & $-$\\
Catalase & $+$ & $-$\\
Anaerobic & Growth (weak) & No growth\\
Motility & $+$ & $-$ or ? \\
Indole production & $+$ & $-$ or ? \\
Hugh \& Leifsons & ? & ? \\
MSA \\
\hspace*{0.5cm}Growth & $+$ & $-$ \\
\hspace*{0.5cm}Mannitol utilisation & $+$ & ? \\
%Growth in absence of salt & & \\ (Didn't get time to do this one.)
Colony pigmentation & White & White \\
Colony texture & Smooth, creamy & Waxy, pellet-like \\
Colony edges & Entire & Entire \\
Colony shape & Round & Round \\
Colony elevation & Flat & Buldge\\
Medium modifications & Cracked patterns & Clear halo, pits, liquification\\
\bottomrule
\end{tabular}
\end{table*}

\blindtext
\blindtext

\end{multicols}
\end{document}

-

table* has no h placement, it make no sence. Only t and p is allowed.

You can use:

% \usepackage{float}
\begin{multicols}{2}
...
\end{multicols}
\begin{table}[H]
...
\end{table}
\begin{multicols}{2}
...
\end{multicols}

-
Is there a way to achieve this without ending and restarting multicols? I'm basically trying to comply with science journals, which don't end and start the text every time a table a figure occurs. The columns are continuous throughout the document... Thanks. – ptrcao May 21 '11 at 5:33
@ptrcao: Actually, no. However, you can define a new environment including \end{multicols} and \begin{multicols}{2}. You don't have to type it every time. – Leo Liu May 21 '11 at 6:52