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I'd like to list a few phrases in one language, and their meanings in another language.

I thought about doing it like that:

Sentence 1 ---------- Translation 1
Longer Sentence ----- Longer Translation

Without the hyphens, of course. The point is that I want to break the page into two parts, and be able to write a line in the first part, then line in the second part, etc., just like an invisible table in Word.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I would recommend using the booktabs package for typesetting tables. Here is an example illustrating this:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{booktabs}% http://ctan.org/pkg/booktabs
\begin{document}
\begin{center}
  \begin{tabular}{p{0.4\linewidth}p{0.4\linewidth}}
    \toprule
    \multicolumn{1}{c}{Sentence 1} & \multicolumn{1}{c}{Translation 1} \\ \midrule
    Longer Sentence & Longer Translation \\
    This is a very long sentence that spans at least two lines in the table & 
      Hierdie is 'n lang sin wat ten minste twee lyne in die tabel span \\
    \bottomrule
  \end{tabular}
\end{center}
\end{document}

Some specifics about this example:

  • The table has evenly spaced column, each of width 0.4\linewidth (40% of the line width) and is set it paragraph style;
  • \multicolumn{1}{c}{...} was used to override the default paragraph style formatting of the columns in the headings; and
  • booktabs provides \toprule, \midrule and \bottomrule to highlight the header, separation from the table body and the bottom of the table.

Other formatting options are also possible, including thicker horizontal rules, or coloured tables.

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What requires special attention in Word, is quite easy in LaTeX:

\begin{tabular}{ll}
Sentence 1 & Translation 1 \\
Longer Sentence & Longer Translation \\
...
\end{tabular}

won't create any rule around cells. Rules between rows can be used for separating visually different sections of the table, they are produced with \hline or with the ...rule commands provided by booktabs.

Vertical rules in a table are discouraged in good typography.

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