# Setting same specific width to columns of sequential tables produces horizontal offset

I obtain weird results when I sequentially arrange several tables with specific column widths

MWE

\documentclass[ngerman]{scrartcl}

\usepackage[german]{babel}
\usepackage{booktabs, array}
\usepackage{longtable}
\newcolumntype{L}[1]{>{\raggedright\let\newline\\\arraybackslash\hspace{0pt}}m{#1}}
\newcolumntype{R}[1]{>{\raggedleft\let\newline\\\arraybackslash\hspace{0pt}}m{#1}}

\begin{document}
\begin{longtable}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}} %Numbers are .3333 and .6666 of \textwidth
Bla & Bla\\
\end{longtable}

\begin{tabular}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}}
Bla & Bla\\
\end{tabular}

\begin{tabular}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}}
Bla & Bla\\
\end{tabular}
\begin{tabular}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}}
Bla & Bla\\
\end{tabular}
\end{document}


This produces unwanted offset that sometimes depends on whether there is an empty line before a tabular or not. No matter where I place the longtable, the next tabular has wrong offset:

What's going on?

• Add \setlength{\parindent}{0pt} To your preamble. What is happening is that each table is being placed like a paragraph hence satisfying the indentation of the document. – azetina Nov 29 '13 at 0:37
• Isn't this somewhat counterintuitive as a default behaviour for tables? – BandGap Nov 29 '13 at 0:50
• @BandGap tablular are inline constructs they are positioned like a letter A If you put two in the source file they come side by side if you put one at the start of a paragraph it is indented by the paragraph indent. If you want to make a vertical display out of a table normally you need something like begin{center}\begin{tabular} – David Carlisle Nov 29 '13 at 8:45

The effect is as a result of the default indentation of the document. Place \setlength{\parindent}{0pt} in the preamble if you want zero indentation or \noindent before each table to remove the indentation and the effect will be removed.

\documentclass[ngerman]{scrartcl}

\usepackage[german]{babel}
\usepackage{booktabs, array}
\usepackage{longtable}
\newcolumntype{L}[1]{>{\raggedright\let\newline\\\arraybackslash\hspace{0pt}}m{#1}}
\newcolumntype{R}[1]{>{\raggedleft\let\newline\\\arraybackslash\hspace{0pt}}m{#1}}
\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}

\begin{document}
\begin{longtable}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}} %Numbers are .3333 and .6666 of \textwidth
Bla & Bla\\
\end{longtable}

\begin{tabular}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}}
Bla & Bla\\
\end{tabular}

\begin{tabular}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}}
Bla & Bla\\
\end{tabular}
\begin{tabular}{R{139.4185pt} L{278.837pt}}
Bla & Bla\\
\end{tabular}
\end{document}

• Excellent, it works. I had the impression it would be easy to solve... Thanks – BandGap Nov 29 '13 at 0:41