# Page breaking in vtop/hbox

I'm a new user of Tex and I'm facing a problem related to a very simple situation.

I'm currently working on a TeX (TeXLive, no LaTeX is used) generator. This generator builds TeX files containing generated tables, based on a simple model. Here a table is a set of \hbox, with \vtop for each column.

\hbox{\vtop{column1Content}
\vtop{column2Content}}


The problem arises when the tables have to contain a big content in one "cell", bigger than the size of one page, therefore overflowing a \vtop, with printed text going down and nowhere outside the page...

So I was wondering whether it is possible or not to insert page breaks inside a given vtop (column) in order to put the remaining content on the next page, without creating a new \hbox{\vtop{}} element (a new line of the table).

I hope I was clear in my description.

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It is a good practice to include a minimum working example with your post, instead of a snippet of code. Could you add one to your question? –  Canageek Sep 21 '12 at 16:58

## 1 Answer

A box is an unbreakable unit. So you either have to generate two boxes, or split the box with \vsplit or \unvbox it to allow the page breaker to split it.

I would say it is a rather surprising choice to generate just plain TeX, a whole host of font and spacing issues would be easier to solve if you generated code for a format that is designed to take care of such issues such as LaTeX or ConTeXt.

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... But that would take all the fun out of it... –  morbusg Sep 21 '12 at 16:32