Lamport, LaTeX: A document preparation system, states on p. 104:
There are two ways to make a parbox at a given point in the text: with the
\parboxcommand and the
minipageenvironment. They can be used to put one or more paragraphs of text inside a picture on in a table item.
minipage share one mandatory argument (width of the parbox) and the optional argument (vertical alignment). (The second mandatory argument of
\parbox "is the text to be put in the parbox" [p. 105].) Lamport recommends the use of minipages instead of parboxes in some cases (e.g. a parbox containing a
tabbing or a list-making environment), but doesn't substantiate his advice (or at least I skipped that part). Finally, from Hendrik Vogt's comment to this answer, I gather that one reason to prefer minipages is that "[y]ou don't have to wait that long for the matching closing brace".
I'm aware that the
\footnote command doesn't work with
\parbox; by contrast, it "puts a footnote at the bottom of the parbox produced by the [
minipage] environment" (Lamport, p. 105). Are there other differences in applicability between
\parbox and the
P.S.: Kopka and Daily, A guide to LaTeX, state on p. 89:
The text in a
\parboxmay not contain any of the centering, list, or other environments described in Sections 4.2 through 4.5. These may, on the other hand, appear within a
However, I did some tests using
tabbing environments within a
\parbox, and LaTeX did not throw error messages. Are Kopka and Daly wrong, or did I miss something?