# Multi-page table over two columns

I can create tables over both columns in two-column mode using table* with tabular and multi-page tables using longtable or supertabular but I am not able to combine both.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{supertabular}
\usepackage{longtable}

\begin{document}
\begin{supertabular*}{\linewidth}{llllll}
column1 &column2    &column3    &column4    &column5    &column6\\
\end{supertabular*}
\end{document}
• longtable does not work in two-column mode at all ("longtable not in 1-column mode")
• supertabular* compiles (using \begin{supertabular*}{\linewidth}{...}, as recommended in another Question) but keeps to use one column anyways and overlaps if that space is not sufficient (see MWE above)
• Perhaps switching to one column, using longtable/supertabular, and then switching to two columns again? Package multicol allows you to change the number of columns in the middle of the document. – JLDiaz Jul 22 '15 at 10:19
• P.S.: When having a caption at the top, latex creates a full page for the caption only and starts the table itself only on the next page. How can I prevent that? – Konrad Höffner Aug 11 '15 at 9:26

Instead of using the supertabular package, which is known to have certain weaknesses, I suggest you use the xtab pacakge and its xtabular and xtabular* environments.

I gather you want the long table is also quite wide and thus needs to span both columns. To obtain this behavior, you need to issue the instruction \onecolumn before \begin{xtabular*}{\textwidth}...}, and you need to issue the instruction \twocolumn after \end{xtabular*}. In order to avoid getting a wretched-looking mid-page page break when LaTeX encounters the \onecolumn directive, I suggest you also load the afterpage package and encase the entire xtabular*-related stuff in an \afterpage{...} instruction. For instance:

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{xtab,afterpage}
\usepackage{lipsum}  % for filler text

\begin{document}
\lipsum[1-5]  % filler text

--- here's the call to start an xtabular* environment.
Execution is deferred until the start of the next page ---

\afterpage{\onecolumn
\begin{xtabular*}{\textwidth}{l@{\extracolsep{\fill}}lllll}
\hline
column1 &column2    &column3    &column4    &column5    &column6\\
%....
column1 &column2    &column3    &column4    &column5    &column6\\
\hline
\end{xtabular*}
\twocolumn
} % end of scope of "\afterpage" directive

\lipsum[6-10] % more filler text
\end{document}

Depending on the length of the table, there may still be some empty space at the bottom of the last page of the table; however, that's usually much less severe a problem than having a bad page immediately before the start of the table.

• Thanks, this works great so far! But how do I add caption and label? When I put it in a table, it doesn't span multiple pages anymore. – Konrad Höffner Jul 23 '15 at 8:35
• @KonradHöffner - For sure, do not place an xtabular environment inside a table environment. Please consult the user guide of the xtab package on how to use macros such as \topcaption, \tablefirsthead, etc. – Mico Jul 23 '15 at 8:44