I have a set of documents with lots of tables using the longtable package. I am looking for a way to force all tables full page width. I know that this can be done by setting this in the preambles:


and then adding \extracolsep{\fill} to each table.

However is there a way to achieve the same effect without modifying each individual table? Perhaps by using renewenvironment to redefine longtable so that \extracolsep{\fill} is always used?

  • not really, you'd have to patch LT@array to modify the definition of \LT@bchunk to use fill rather than 0pt when setting \tabskip. simpler just to use \newcolumtype{Z}{@{\extracolsep{\fill}}} then use Z at the start of the longtable preamble argument (although forcing columns apart makes the table harder to read for no real gain) – David Carlisle May 19 '15 at 15:44
  • The problem is that I have no direct control over the column definitions (these documents are generated by an external tool). Any other option ? – Grodriguez May 19 '15 at 15:47
  • as I say my preferred option is not to do it and let the column separation be natural width, makes for easier reading, but if that isn't an option, use a patch command (eg from etoolbox) and change \tabskip\z@ to \tabskip\fill in \LT@array – David Carlisle May 19 '15 at 15:54
  • Thank you. Although I'll have to study that a bit before I understand your suggestion (I'm new to Latex :) – Grodriguez May 19 '15 at 16:13

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\textbf{heading a}&\textbf{heading b}\\

\textbf{heading a}&\textbf{heading b}\\


Automatically Horrible
\textbf{heading a}&\textbf{heading b}\\

  • Very illustrative :) – Grodriguez May 19 '15 at 16:56

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