# Minipage with tabular inside ignores vertical alignment

I am trying to align a minipage that has a list inside. Using a tabular environment for the list results in the minipage ignoring the [t] option (or any other, as far as I can tell). On the other hand, using a description environment yields the correct result, but I don't like how it aligns the item[]s with different length, and so would prefer using the tabular.

MWE:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\textbf{One set of notes.}
\begin{minipage}[t]{0.5\linewidth}
\begin{tabular}{@{}r@{ }l@{}}
Note 1: & This is the first note \\
Note 2: & This is the second note \\
Note 3: & This is the third note \\
Note 4: & This is the fourth note \\
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}

\textbf{Another set of notes.}
\begin{minipage}[t]{0.5\linewidth}
\begin{description}
\item[Note 1:] This is the first note \\
\item[Note 2:] This is the second note \\
\item[Note 3:] This is the third note \\
\item[Note 4:] This is the fourth note \\
\end{description}
\end{minipage}
\end{document}


The result is shown in the image at the bottom.

Is there a way of using a tabular inside a minipage that acknowledges the vertical alignment?

• You want \begin{tabular}[t] – egreg Mar 21 '15 at 21:16

The [t]op alignment of the minipage aligns it's content at the top of the anchor point of the minipage interior. Since the minipage interior has an anchor point in the middle - given by the tabular block, the minipage "top" results in the (vertical) middle of the block.

To avoid this, specify the tabular anchor point as being [t]op as well:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\textbf{One set of notes.}
\begin{minipage}[t]{0.5\linewidth}
\begin{tabular}[t]{@{}r@{ }l@{}}
Note 1: & This is the first note \\
Note 2: & This is the second note \\
Note 3: & This is the third note \\
Note 4: & This is the fourth note \\
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}

\textbf{Another set of notes.}
\begin{minipage}[t]{0.5\linewidth}
\begin{description}
\item[Note 1:] This is the first note \\
\item[Note 2:] This is the second note \\
\item[Note 3:] This is the third note \\
\item[Note 4:] This is the fourth note \\
\end{description}
\end{minipage}
\end{document}


Since there are known problems with baseline settings in minipage/\parbox boxes, you may be better off setting the entire minipage-tabular combination in a nested tabular:

\begin{tabular}[t]{@{}p{0.5\linewidth}@{}}
\begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}[t]{@{}r@{ }X@{}}
Note 1: & This is the first note \\
Note 2: & This is the second note \\
Note 3: & This is the third note \\
Note 4: & This is the fourth note \\
\end{tabularx}
\end{tabular}


I've inserted a tabularx inner to allow for a fixed-width 0.5\linewidth structure.