# Change row vertical alignment in a table

I am trying to produce a table that changes the vertical alignment of the cells for different rows. At the moment I have set up my table so that all the columns are middle and center aligned. However, I would like the last two rows to be vertically aligned at the top as well as being left aligned instead of centered (i.e. \raggedright instead of \centering). I was wondering if there was any way of doing this, please.

I am new to TeX so I appreciate my code is probably not very neat! I would appreciate any help, please!

My code is as follows:

\documentclass[12pt,oneside]{report}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[a4paper,top=2cm,bottom=2cm,left=4cm,right=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\graphicspath{{images/}}
\usepackage{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{agsm}
\usepackage{fixltx2e}
\usepackage{textcomp}
\usepackage[UKenglish]{isodate}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage[titletoc]{appendix}
\usepackage{longtable}
\usepackage{array}
\usepackage{multirow}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{booktabs}
\usepackage[version=3]{mhchem}
\usepackage[labelfont=bf]{caption}
\linespread{1.3}

\begin{center}
\scriptsize
\begin{longtable}[width=1\textwidth]{>{\raggedright}m{3.2cm}>{\centering}m{1.8cm}>{\centering}m{1.8cm}>{\centering}m{1.8cm}>{\centering}m{1.8cm}>{\centering\arraybackslash}m{1.8cm}} \toprule[0.03cm]
\textbf{Property} & \textbf{Methane} & \textbf{Carbon Dioxide} & \textbf{Carbon Monoxide} & \textbf{Hydrogen Sulphide} & \textbf{Hydrogen}\\ \midrule[0.03cm] \endhead
Chemical Symbol & CH\textsubscript{4} & CO\textsubscript{2} & CO & H\textsubscript{2}S & H\textsubscript{2}\\
Molecular Weight & 16 & 44 & 28 & 34 & 2\\
Melting Point (\textdegree C) & -184 & \multirow{2}{*}{\parbox{1.8cm}{\centeringSublimes at -78.5}} & -205 & -85 & -259.14\\
Boiling Point (\textdegree C) & -164 &  & -191 & -61 & -252.87\\ \midrule[0.01cm]
Density (kg/m\textsuperscript{3}) & 0.71 & 1.98 & 1.25 & 1.53 & 0.085\\
Solubility in H\textsubscript{2}O at STP (mg/l) & 25 & 1,450 & 21.4 & 4,100 & \parbox{1.8cm}{1.62 at 21\textdegree C}\\
Viscosity (Ns/m\textsuperscript{2}) & 1.03$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & 1.4$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & 1.66$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & 1.0$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & 8.7$\times$10\textsuperscript{-6}\\
Diffusion Coefficient in Air (m\textsuperscript{2}/s at STP) & 1.5$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & 1.39$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & \parbox{1.8cm}{\centering 1.96$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} at 9\textdegree C} & 1.76$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5} & 6.1$\times$10\textsuperscript{-5}\\ \midrule[0.01cm]
Physical Description and Attributes & Colourless, odourless and flammable gas. Important greenhouse gas. & Colourless, odourless and toxic gas. Important greenhouse gas. & Colourless, toxic, odourless and flammable gas. & Colourless, flammable and toxic gas. Rotten eggs odour at low concentration $<$ 1 ppm. Odourless at concentration $>$ 50 ppm due to anaesthesia of olfactory sense. & Colourless, odourless and flammable gas.\\ \midrule[0.01cm]
Formation & Anaerobic degradation of organic material. & Aerobic and anaerobic degradation of organic materials, action of acid water in carbonate rocks and respiration of soil bacteria. & \ce{SO4^2-}-reducing bacteria obtain energy by oxidising organic matter or H\textsubscript{2} with sulphates and produce H\textsubscript{2}S. Happens in low-O\textsubscript{2} environments (e.g. standing water). Other anaerobic bacteria produce H\textsubscript{2}S by digesting amino acids containing \ce{SO4^2-}. & Incomplete combustion of organic materials. In landfill waste can also be produced by the reduction of CO\textsubscript{2} by nascent H\textsubscript{2}. & Chemical reaction between water and finely divide metal (e.g. Al) in the ground.\\ \bottomrule[0.03cm]
\caption{Chemical and Physical Properties of Hazardous Ground Gases}
\label{tab:chemicalandphysicalproperties}
\end{longtable}
\end{center}
• Those long texts in narrow columns with very different lengths are really terrible. Would you consider typesetting in the format of this picture? Dec 11 '14 at 23:20

## 3 Answers

For each of the cells within the row you want to re-adjust, use

\multicolumn{1}{p{<len>}}{\raggedright <stuff>}

This will adjust the vertical alignment to the top and the horizontal alignment to \raggedright. A fixed-width p-column sets an anchor point at the top by default.

...
\multicolumn{1}{p{3.2cm}}{Formation} &
\multicolumn{1}{p{1.8cm}}{\raggedright
Anaerobic degradation of organic material.} &
\multicolumn{1}{p{1.8cm}}{\raggedright
Aerobic and anaerobic degradation of organic materials,
action of acid water in carbonate rocks and respiration of soil bacteria.} &
\multicolumn{1}{p{1.8cm}}{\raggedright
\ce{SO4^2-}-reducing bacteria obtain energy by oxidising organic matter or \ce{H2}
with sulphates and produce \ce{H2S}. Happens in low-\ce{O2} environments (e.g.\
standing water). Other anaerobic bacteria produce \ce{H2S} by digesting amino acids
containing \ce{SO4^2-}.} &
\multicolumn{1}{p{1.8cm}}{\raggedright
Incomplete combustion of organic materials. In landfill waste can also be produced
by the reduction of \ce{CO2} by nascent \ce{H2}.} &
\multicolumn{1}{p{1.8cm}}{\raggedright
Chemical reaction between water and finely divide metal (e.g. Al) in the ground.} \\
\bottomrule[0.03cm]
\caption{Chemical and Physical Properties of Hazardous Ground Gases}
\end{longtable}

If your columns are narrow, you may be interested in using ragged2e's \RaggedRight.

As an aside... be consistent with your use of mhchem.

The plain TeX solution follows. You can compare this with LaTeX solutions.

{\parindent=0pt \everymath={\rm}
\emergencystretch=2em \raggedright
\def\midrule{\noalign{\smallskip\hrule\medskip}}
\def\e{\unskip\vrule depth7pt width0pt}
\def\dd{\vskip-2pt\relax}

\halign{\quad\vtop{\hsize=3.2cm #\e}\quad&&\vtop{\hsize=1.8cm #\e}\quad\cr
%
\midrule
\bf\dd Property & \bf\dd Methane & \bf Carbon Dioxide &
\bf Carbon Monoxide & \bf Hydrogen Sulphide & \bf Hydrogen\cr
\midrule
Chemical Symbol  &\hfil $CH_4$ &\hfil $CO_2$ &\hfil CO &\hfil $H_2S$ &\hfil $H_2$\cr
Molecular Weight &\hfil 16 &\hfil 44 &\hfil 28 &\hfil 34 &\hfil 2\cr
Melting Point ($^\circ$C) &\hfil $-184$ &\hfil $-200$ &\hfil $-205$ &\hfil $-85$ &\hfil $-259.14$\cr
\midrule
Physical Description and Attributes &
Colourless, odourless and flammable gas. Important greenhouse gas. &
Colourless, odourless and toxic gas. Important greenhouse gas. &
Colourless, toxic, odourless and flammable gas. &
Colourless, flammable and toxic gas. Rotten eggs odour at low
concentration $<$ 1 ppm. Odourless at concentration $>$ 50 ppm due to
anaesthesia of olfactory sense. &
Colourless, odourless and flammable gas.\cr
\midrule
Formation &
Anaerobic degradation of organic material. &
Aerobic and anaerobic degradation of organic materials,
action of acid water in carbonate rocks and respiration of soil bacteria. &
$SO_4^{2-}$-reducing bacteria obtain energy by oxidising organic matter
or $H_2$ with sulphates and produce $H_2S$. Happens in
low-$O_2$ environments (e.g. standing water). Other anaerobic
bacteria produce $H_2S$ by digesting amino acids containing
$SO_4^{2-}$. &
Incomplete combustion of organic materials. In landfill waste
can also be produced by the reduction of $CO_2$ by nascent $H_2$. &
Chemical reaction between water and finely divide metal (e.g. Al) in the ground.\cr
\midrule}
}

\bye

Comment: narrow columns look very bad but this is a part of the assignment.

Here is a solution using the ltablex package (adds the functionalities of longtable to tabularx. The use of tabularx allows for slighly wider columns; I also loaded ragged2e (to have some hyphenation in a raggedright context), sinuitx fr a correct typesetting of units and numbers, with its \si, \SI and \num commands and the possibility to use abbreviations for scientific notations. The \thead command (makecell package) allows for a common formatting of column heads. Finally, I systematically used the \ce command, from mhchem to have a simple typesetting of chemical compounds.

\documentclass[12pt,oneside]{report}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[a4paper,top=2cm,bottom=2cm,left=4cm,right=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\graphicspath{{images/}}
\usepackage{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{agsm}
\usepackage{fixltx2e}
\usepackage[UKenglish]{isodate}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage[titletoc]{appendix}
\usepackage{ragged2e}
\usepackage{ltablex}
\newcolumntype{Y}{>{\RaggedRight\arraybackslash}>{\hsize=.95\hsize}X}
\newcolumntype{Z}{>{\raggedright\arraybackslash}>{\hsize=1.25\hsize}X}
\usepackage{array}
\setlength\extrarowheight{1pt}
\usepackage{multirow}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{booktabs}
\setlength\aboverulesep{4pt}
\usepackage[version=3]{mhchem}
\usepackage[labelfont=bf, font = footnotesize]{caption}
\usepackage{makecell}
\renewcommand\theadfont{\bfseries}
\renewcommand\theadalign{lc}
\renewcommand\cellalign{lc}
\usepackage{siunitx}
\newcommand\celsius{\si{\degreeCelsius}}

\begin{document}

\begin{center}
\scriptsize\setlength\tabcolsep{4pt}
\begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{Z*{5}{Y}}
\toprule[0.03cm]
\textbf{Property} &\thead{Methane} &\thead{Carbon\\ Dioxide} &\thead{Carbon\\ Monoxide} &\thead{Hydrogen\\ Sulphide} &\thead{Hydrogen}\\
\midrule[0.03cm]
\endhead
Chemical Symbol & \ce{CH4} & \ce{CO2} & CO & \ce{H2S} & \ce{H2}\\
Molecular Weight & 16 & 44 & 28 & 34 & 2\\
Melting Point (\celsius) &\num{-184} & \multirowcell{2}{Sublimes at\\ \num{-78.5}} &\num{-205} &\num{-85} & \num{-259.14}\\
Boiling Point (\celsius) &\num{-164} & &\num{-191} &\num{-61} & \num{-252.87}\\
\cmidrule(lr){1-6}
Density (\si{kg/m³ }) & 0.71 & 1.98 & 1.25 & 1.53 & 0.085\\
Solubility in \ce{H2O} at STP (\si{mg/l}) & 25 & 1,450 & 21.4 & 4,100 & \parbox{1.8cm}{1.62 at \SI{21}{\celsius}} \\%
Viscosity (\si{Ns/m²}) & \num{1.03e-5} & \num{1.4e-5} & \num{1.66e-5} & \num{1.0e-5} & \num{8.7e-6} \\
Diffusion Coefficient in Air (\si{m² /s} at STP) & \num{1.5e-5} & \num{1.39e-5} & \parbox{1.8cm}{\centering \num{1.96e-5} at \SI{9}{\celsius}} & \num{1.76e-5} & \num{6.1e-5} \\
\cmidrule(lr){1-6}
Physical Description and Attributes & Colourless, odourless and flammable gas.

Important greenhouse gas.
& Colourless, odourless and toxic gas.

Important greenhouse gas.
& Colourless, toxic, odourless and flammable gas.
& Colourless, flammable and toxic gas.

Rotten eggs odour at low concentration \mbox{$<$ 1\,ppm}. Odourless at concentration \mbox{$>$ 50\,ppm} due to anaesthesia of olfactory sense.
& Colourless, odourless and flammable gas.\\
\cmidrule(lr){1-6}
Formation & Anaerobic degradation of organic material. & Aerobic and anaerobic degradation of organic materials, action of acid water in carbonate rocks and respiration of soil bacteria. & \ce{SO4^2-}\mbox{-reducing} bacteria obtain energy by oxidising organic matter or \ce{H2} with sulphates and produce \ce{H2S}.

Happens in low-\ce{O2} environments (e.g. standing water).

Other anaerobic bacteria produce \ce{H2S} by digesting amino acids containing \ce{SO4^2-}.
& Incomplete combustion of organic materials.

In landfill waste can also be produced by the reduction of \ce{CO2} by nascent \ce{H2}.
& Chemical reaction between water and finely divide metal (e.g. Al) in the ground.\\
\bottomrule[0.03cm]
\end{tabularx}
\captionof{table}{Chemical and Physical Properties of Hazardous Ground Gases}
\label{tab:chemicalandphysicalproperties}
\end{center}

\end{document}

• While this looks amazing and I thank you very much for your time. I am now getting error messages concerning tabularx. Also, the alignment for 'Sublimes at -78.5' is now different from the rest of the table? Please can you suggest a solution? To be honest, I am new to writing code, and I don't really understand half of what you've done. Please explain!! Feb 26 '15 at 17:23
• Sorry! I had forgotten to add one line in the preamble.For the alignment in cells governed by the \thead and \multirowcell commands (from the makecell package). This line is \renewcommand\cellalign{lc}, which means it is left aligned (horizontally) and centred (vertically). The default is cc. The code and the image have been updated. Feb 26 '15 at 18:18