My preferred way of structuring and formatting large lists of content is with longtable. Some of my cells contain a lot of text, both in paragraph and itemize or enumerate environments. For reasons explained to me very clearly by David Carlisle page breaks are only possible when rows end/begin, so I end up with enormous portions of blank space. I haven't yet forced a situation to see how my compile would fail if the box itself couldn't be contained on 1 full page. Since my content is not unbreakable like an image, I'd like to know what other latex environments I could be using that would let me preserve formatting (vertical and horizontal lines, column widths etc.) but break across multiple pages? Is there a text only environment that I could be using (text only might mean that breaks are expected - no pictures)?

I have seen years worth of repeated questions asking how to do this, but I haven't found a workable answer in any of them. So I am hopeful that a solution has evolved at some point, it's just been hard to find.

I can't provide a MWE for every other environments that don't seem to work (a sampling of those I remember trying to use is listed below) and I haven't provided a MWE for longtable since I know it can't be modified to permit a page break mid-row.

  • minipage
  • parbox
  • colorbox
  • tabular
  • mdframed
  • and many others

longtable was selected for me because:

  • it could be combined with threeparttable
  • it could span multiple pages
  • cells could contain long content blocks
  • supported multicolumn and multirow
  • column formatting commands were easily customized
  • excellent support from knowledgeable users
  • good documentation

1 Answer 1


So far, I have been succeeding working around these complex alignment possibilities and strict requirements by combining

This answer (https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/170767/69378) got me going in getting a base formatting and easily adjustable size structure in place. Then when I coupled it with the table packages described above I was off and running again. Still working and tweaking the appearances and nested objects, but overall this combination has been working pretty well with the strange alignments and breakable requirements I need.

I didn't make it far enough into the documentation or examples but flowfram is also high on my priority for learning as I think it has great promise in some more sticky applications in the foreseeable future.

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