# Connecting text in a table with text outside the table, using lines and circles

I have a table similar to this one

\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{llcc|}
&   & \multicolumn{2}{c}{Blah}\\ \cline{3-4}
& \multicolumn{1}{l|}{} & A & B\\ \cline{2-4}
Bleh1 & \multicolumn{1}{|l|}{C} & \begin{tabular}{l}E\\F\end{tabular}& \begin{tabular}{l}I\\J\end{tabular} \\ \cline{2-4}
Bleh2 & \multicolumn{1}{|l|}{D} & × & \begin{tabular}{l}G\\H\end{tabular}\\ \cline{2-4}
\end{tabular}
\end{center}


and I would like to add some circles or ellipses to highlight particular entries and add some text, outside the table. For example, I would like to add a red circle or ellipsis around E and F (having them inside the same circle) and draw a line, maybe also red, from the ellipsis to some text outside the table, say "Hello", linking this text to the entry in the table. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Here I use tikzpicture with [rember picture and overly] approach to achieve the objective.

1. You may need to compile twice for the first time.

2. The connecting lines can have different in/out angles of your choice -- edge [out=0, in=180]

3. Use short hand notation \tikz in a tabular

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{arrows,shapes}

\begin{document}

\tikzstyle{every picture}=[remember picture, overlay]      % overlay

\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{llcc|}
&   & \multicolumn{2}{c}{Blah}\\ \cline{3-4}
& \multicolumn{1}{l|}{} & A & B\\ \cline{2-4}
Bleh1 & \multicolumn{1}{|l|}{C} &
\begin{tabular}{l}
\tikz[baseline]
{
\node[fill=blue,rectangle,anchor=base] (t1) % internal name in table
{E};  % assign an internal name to E
}\\
\tikz[baseline]
{
\node[fill=red,rectangle,anchor=base] (t2)  % internal name in table
{F};  % Assign an internal name to F
}
\end{tabular}&
\begin{tabular}{l}
I\\J
\end{tabular} \\ \cline{2-4}
Bleh2 & \multicolumn{1}{|l|}{D} & × & \begin{tabular}{l}G\\H\end{tabular}\\ \cline{2-4}
\end{tabular}
\end{center}

\begin{itemize}
\item Hello to E
\tikz \node [coordinate] (n1) {};  % define an internal name outside the table
\item Hello to F
\tikz \node [coordinate] (n2) {};  % define an internal name outside the table
\end{itemize}

\begin{tikzpicture}
\path[->,blue] (n1) edge [out=0, in=180] (t1);       % points form a line
\path[->,red] (n2) edge [out=0, in=0] (t2);          % points form a line
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

• Thanks! However, I was looking for a way to avoid using itemize, but where the 'outside text' is placed at any point outside the table. I just found something similar so I'll try to modify it for what I need (see tex.stackexchange.com/questions/9442/…). Thanks for your help. – flucoe Oct 13 '13 at 16:44
• @flucoe -- No worries. Actually, tikz node can be inline too. For example, This is what it means \tikz \node here. And some text \tikz \node there. I simply think itemize is good for sum up. Thus, for demo. Good to know that you find sth useful. Thanks. – Jesse Oct 13 '13 at 16:58