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I'm working on a document that runs two columns of text down the page, like many scientific conference proceedings. However, I'd like for a table to run across the entire width of the page, as it is far too wide to fit into one column. How do I do this?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

It may depend on your document class, but the usual way is to use table* in place of table.

\Large This table is so wide that it needs to use both columns.
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It might be worth adding that the only permitted position for table* and figure* floats is at the top of the page. Thus, if one tries to specify h or b to indicate the preferred location for "starred" floats, things aren't going to turn out well... – Mico Jul 27 '12 at 13:46

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