# How to merge / overlay two pages?

This should in principle be an easy question, but I could not figure out how to do it, so I hope to find help here. A disclaimer up front: I know that this is not a recommended thing to do, and pretty stupid and potentially ugly, but hey, let's see how it looks like. ;)

The problem is this:

At some point in my document, I start the appendix (think of any new section, for that matter). Then I use \input to read in a table. This table is big enough to fill out an entire page. Since the section name "Appendix" and the table don't fit on one page, LateX gives me a whole empty page with "Appendix" on it, and on the following page the table.

Glancing at both pages, it looks though as if the title "Appendix" would easily fit onto the page with the table. I don't want to mess around with the table though since more (similar) tables are following (so the layout of the tables should remain the same, i.e. no messing with the margins). I am thus now looking for a way to merge both pages. Think of making one of the pages transparent and putting it on top of the other.

Given how powerful Latex is, I am sure this is possible, but I am not a very proficient user, so I would be happy about any help / hints that anyone of you might be able to provide me with. If both things would be environments, it would probably be easier, but since one of them is the name of the section ("Appendix"), I am not sure how to even start. Any help is appreciated!

• Not an answer, but you really shouldn't just drop a table into an appendix without some explanatory text to introduce it. That said, would the table fit if you use a smaller font size? That is, put \small or some other font size inside the table environment to use smaller type for everything in the table. – Paul Gessler Feb 3 '14 at 15:46
• See answers here for more details. – Paul Gessler Feb 3 '14 at 15:49
• The tables are referred to in the main text. They are robustness checks, and thus belong to the appendix (in my field). I have about 10 of them, so I don't want to make all of them less readable just because of the one that causes the problem with the section header (I do want to keep all their formats the same though). But thanks nevertheless! – coffeinjunky Feb 3 '14 at 15:52

If you're sure the table will fit, then you can fool TeX into thinking it doesn't take up space:

\documentclass{book}
\begin{document}
\mainmatter
\appendix
\chapter{First}

\begin{table}[b]
\centering
\smash{\begin{minipage}[b]{\textwidth}
\centering
\caption{Some caption}\label{x}
\medskip
\begin{tabular}{cc}
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
aaa & bbb \\
\end{tabular}
\\
\vspace{0pt} % fix the reference point here
\end{minipage}}% end of \smash
\end{table}
\end{document}


• Thanks for that! I did not know the smash-command so far. It seems like I will need to do some twisting, but it might work for my problem. I don't have enough reputation points, otherwise I would definitely vote you up! Please apologize for not doing so. – coffeinjunky Feb 3 '14 at 16:38
• @user2378649 Don't worry, I'm not really short of rep. ;-) – egreg Feb 3 '14 at 16:41
• A less drastic step might be to put some negative \vspace*{...} before and/or after the tabular. Also, an appendix (or any section) with nothing but floats in it can cause problems with placement, so you might want just tabulars in minipages, allowing for labeling and reference with \captionof from the caption, float or capt-of packages – Dan Feb 3 '14 at 20:31
• Thanks everyone for the remarks so far. They were very helpful, I learnt quite some things. One small remark for other people like me who might encounter the same problem: I used the sidewaystable environment for my tables, which apparently put tables automatically on a new page (didn't know this until today). The above should work (I think) if that environment is replaced with the appropriate table environment with a "manual" rotation. – coffeinjunky Feb 4 '14 at 10:43