I have found a couple of solutions how to align row of numbers in table environments for example here and here. From a philosophical point of view can I use these solutions with proportional fonts ? Or is there requirement to use monospaced (typewriter) font ? I know theoretically there is no problem with this but I am curious if Latex can handle this. From the point of view of readibility monospaced font is better because when decimal points are aligned, then also other digits are nicely aligned and the reader can quickly compare numerical values in different rows.

I thought of using old style figures for numerical values in my tables (for example by using \oldstyleenums switch). Have all old style figures the same width or every digit has different width? My document is written in tgpagella font (because of good support for Czech & Slovak language glyphs).

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    there are actually four styles of numerals: lining + proportional; lining + monowidth; old-style + proportional; old-style + monowidth. monowidth numerals should always be used in tables, and almost always in math, so that alignment is uniform. proportional numerals can be more appropriate for text. old-style vs. lining is often a matter of personal taste. knuth addressed this question in a tugboat article, Typesetting Concrete Mathematics. – barbara beeton Apr 28 '15 at 16:49
  • If you use a unicode engine and fontspec: \newfontfamily\tabfont[Numbers={Monospaced,OldStyle}]{TeX Gyre Pagella} – MaxNoe Apr 28 '15 at 18:11
  • @barbarabeeton I think it's an exaggeration to say that Knuth addresses the question of old-style versus lining numerals in the linked article. There's a short paragraph on p. 34 where he says he chose to use old-style numerals for equation numbers, but he doesn't comment on why. – Sverre Apr 28 '15 at 18:19
  • You should be able to make at least dcolumn work, did you try it? If it doesn't work add a small test document that demonstrates the problem. – David Carlisle Apr 28 '15 at 18:32
  • @Sverre -- i may be working from "inside knowledge" here. the point is that -- to knuth -- equation numbers are more "text" than "math". and he has chosen old-style numerals for text; lining (monowidth) numerals are uniformly used for math. in other venues, there has been discussion whether old-style or lining numerals are better for (all-numeric) tables (monowidth only; proportional is not suitable). for ephemerides and navigation tables, old-style numerals have been used in the past, and are very readable, possibly more so than lining numerals, because of the distinct shapes. – barbara beeton Apr 28 '15 at 18:50

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