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In a recent post I was adviced to use pmatrix for typing matrices instead of tabular and I am convinced that this is really the right way. The problem is that my book concerns matrix theory and linear algebra and there are hundrends of tabular environments that have to be changed by hand, one by one. Therefore my question is this: it is worth of doing this? I mean, this is something that will improve the apperance of the book and suppress undesired errors and warnings? The result of using these two approaches (pmatrix and tabular) it seems the same (at least to me). Thanks a lot!!! Athanasios.

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    using tabular is wrong and it would be worth changing even if the output were the same but you will get better spacing for the brackets from \begin{pmatrix}... than from \left(\begin{tablular}... – David Carlisle Oct 3 '17 at 12:42
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Anyway, you shouldn't use tabular, but array in math mode.

The generic environment is more versatile as you can set alignments per column, whereas in all the xmatrix environments, columns are centred. On the other hand, the code for pmatrix is lighter.

In addition, mathtools defines xmatrix* environments, which can take an optional argument : [l], [c] (the default) or [r], with the obvious meaning, which ensure all column are aligned accordingly. This adds some touch of versatility.

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