Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am working on a long LaTeX document with several tables, which contain mainly text, or text and numbers. The tables are a \begin{table} ... \begin{tabular} environment. It is often difficult to see where the tables start and end on a page -- they are "mixing" in with the text too much and are disappearing, so it is difficult to easily locate "Table 1.1" and to navigate the document.

I found this solution to colour the entire table, but this only coloured the table itself, not the caption or footnotes under the table. I moved the \colorbox before the \begin{table} but this gave an error.

I tried inserting a \hline before the \end{table} but this also did not work.

How can I make the tables more prominent, without, obviously, making them garish? I thought a light shading under the entire table (caption, footnotes, etc.), or a bold line above and/or below the table?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted
\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{xcolor,booktabs,caption}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}
\lipsum[1]
\begin{table}[htb]
\colorbox{blue!20}{%
\begin{minipage}{\dimexpr\linewidth-2\fboxsep-2\fboxrule}
\caption{default}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{@{} r|rrrrr @{}}\toprule
 \multicolumn{1}{c}{} & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 \\\midrule
1 & 2.36 & 1.08 & -0.49 & -0.82 & -0.65 \\
  2 & -0.68 & -1.13 & -0.42 & -0.72 & 1.51 \\
  3 & -1.00 & 0.02 & -0.54 & 0.31 & 1.28 \\
  4 & -0.99 & -0.54 & 0.97 & -1.12 & 0.59 \\
  5 & -2.35 & -0.29 & -0.53 & 0.30 & -0.30 \\
  6 & -0.10 & 0.06 & -0.85 & 0.10 & -0.60 \\
  7 & 1.28 & -0.46 & 1.33 & -0.66 & -1.80 \\
  8 & 0.80 & 0.46 & 1.37 & 1.73 & 1.93 \\
  9 & -0.75 & 0.28 & 0.51 & 0.19 & 0.58 \\
  10 & -1.64 & -0.12 & -1.17 & -0.10 & -0.04 \\\bottomrule
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}}
\end{table}
\lipsum[2]
\end{document}

enter image description here

If you need it for a lot of tabulars then define an own command for this.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 this is a note for the OP: could use the etoolbox to do it for every table –  cmhughes Oct 28 '12 at 17:01
    
writing an own macro makes more sense. –  Herbert Oct 28 '12 at 17:11

I tend to use sans serif fonts \sffamily in tables and figures in order to differentiate them better from the normal surrounding text. In addition I use a slightly smaller font \small. Here is an example:

\documentclass[parskip,paper=a4]{scrartcl}
\usepackage[left=20mm,right=20mm, top=20mm, bottom=20mm]{geometry}
\usepackage[latin1]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{lmodern}

\usepackage{float}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}
\usepackage{booktabs}
\usepackage[%
    font={small,sf},
    labelfont=bf,
    format=hang,
]{caption}

\usepackage{blindtext}
\begin{document}

\section{Section Title}

\blindtext

\begin{figure}[H]
\centering
\includegraphics[width=0.8\textwidth,height=50mm]{}
\caption{Figure caption font is different from the normal text font in order to get a better differentiation -- I like it that way.}
\end{figure}

\blindtext

\begin{table}[H]
\caption{Table caption font is different from the normal text font in order to get a better differentiation -- I like it that way.}
\centering
\small\sffamily
\begin{tabular}{llr}
\toprule
\multicolumn{2}{c}{Item} \\
\cmidrule(r){1-2}
Animal & Description & Price (\$) \\
\midrule
Gnat  & per gram & 13.65 \\
      & each     &  0.01 \\
Gnu   & stuffed  & 92.50 \\
Emu   & stuffed  & 33.33 \\
Armadillo & frozen & 8.99 \\
\bottomrule
\end{tabular}
\end{table}

\blindtext
\end{document}

Result:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

This is with lines above and below the table:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}
\lipsum[1]
\begin{table}[htb]
\noindent\rule{\linewidth}{1.5pt}
\caption{default}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{r|rrrrr}
  \hline
 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 \\
  \hline
1 & 2.36 & 1.08 & -0.49 & -0.82 & -0.65 \\
  2 & -0.68 & -1.13 & -0.42 & -0.72 & 1.51 \\
  3 & -1.00 & 0.02 & -0.54 & 0.31 & 1.28 \\
  4 & -0.99 & -0.54 & 0.97 & -1.12 & 0.59 \\
  5 & -2.35 & -0.29 & -0.53 & 0.30 & -0.30 \\
  6 & -0.10 & 0.06 & -0.85 & 0.10 & -0.60 \\
  7 & 1.28 & -0.46 & 1.33 & -0.66 & -1.80 \\
  8 & 0.80 & 0.46 & 1.37 & 1.73 & 1.93 \\
  9 & -0.75 & 0.28 & 0.51 & 0.19 & 0.58 \\
  10 & -1.64 & -0.12 & -1.17 & -0.10 & -0.04 \\
   \hline
\end{tabular}
\noindent\rule{\linewidth}{1.5pt}
\end{table}
\lipsum[2]
\end{document}

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.