What is the easiest way to have 2 lines in some of the cells in a table?

The only way I can think right now is to actually have 2 separate rows (without the line in the middle) and use \multirow on all other cells in this row. Any easier ideas?

  • 1
    Can you clarify your question? Maybe post a small complete document with a table that shows what you want. If you use the p column type, you can have paragraphs within a table cell. Will that solve the problem? – Alan Munn Jan 9 '12 at 20:29
  • here is an excellent solution: texblog.org/2012/12/21/… – Antonín Hoskovec May 5 '13 at 18:13

You could nest a tabular within another tabular:

enter image description here

  One & Two & Three & Four \\
  Een & Twee & Drie & Vier \\
  One & Two & 
    \begin{tabular}{@{}c@{}}Three \\ Drie\end{tabular}
  & Four

The use of @{}..@{} voids the additional space (horizontal tab separation) inserted by the nested tabular.

Also, the above example inserts the nested tabular vertically centered with respect to the row. If you want it top or bottom aligned, use the optional parameter to tabular: \begin{tabular}[t].. or \begin{tabular}[b]....

Note that this approach also works within math mode for an array.

  • 11
    The result is really beautiful. – Wok May 21 '15 at 12:52
  • How to center the content inside this tabular? – Paul Razvan Berg Aug 10 '18 at 21:12
  • 1
    @PaulRBerg: I'm not sure I understand your question. All the content in the tabular is centred based on the column specification. – Werner Aug 12 '18 at 15:48
  • Oh right! Sorry, I had my own implementation and I missed the c in your answer. It's working now, thanks. – Paul Razvan Berg Aug 12 '18 at 16:15

When using a p-type column, one can set the width of a column:

By default, if the text in a column is too wide for the page, LaTeX won’t automatically wrap it. Using p{'width'} you can define a special type of column which will wrap-around the text as in a normal paragraph. You can pass the width using any unit supported by LaTeX, such as 'pt' and 'cm'...

The p column does not only allow text to be automatically broken in multiple lines depending on the size of the column as given, it also allows for the use of \newline in the tabular environment:

  foo & bar \newline rlz \\

Which gives:
example of p-type column

  • Welcome to TeX.sx! – texenthusiast Mar 18 '13 at 1:15
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    It would be good to emphasise this requires a p type column – Andrew Swann Mar 18 '13 at 7:30
  • 4
    \newline works without any issues in tabularx. – Rob W Sep 29 '13 at 17:18
  • I thought I could use p{\textwidth} to get automatic column width adjustment. Alas does not work. It then uses a column width of the text without the \newline. – Axel Bregnsbo Apr 7 '19 at 12:57
  • 1
    I prefer Wolfone's answer. Using makecell allows to control the line break and vertically centers text in other columns. – Nagabhushan S N Feb 11 '20 at 15:49

The easiest way is to use \shortstack but it is not very flexible.


    one & two & three \\
    one & two & \shortstack{aa \\ bb}\\


\shortstack takes an option to align content left [l], right [r], or center [c](default). Another idea is to use \parbox[t]{5cm}{aa\\bb} because it provides options to align the lines vertically.

  • I prefer Wolfone's answer. Using makecell vertically centers text in other columns. – Nagabhushan S N Feb 11 '20 at 15:47
  • (Just to complete Nagabhushan's comment), makecell gives you options to decide vertical and horizontal alignment. – Cyriac Antony Aug 24 '20 at 6:50
  • This is probably the one you're after if you have a little bit of extra text that you want to wrap, rather than have it stretch out the column width – Phill Apr 7 at 8:35

I know this is already answered but there this might add to some persons usecase.

Another possible solution (my preferred one in my use-cases so far as I wanted full control to what comes in which line while being as concise as possible) is using the makecell package which would make it possible to have multi-line cells by using:

    & some & information & more &\\
    & info & \makecell{ line1 \\ line2 }  &  blubb&\\
  • 5
    Make sure to include \usepackage{makecell} to make this work. – ASGM Jul 27 '20 at 17:53
  • For alignment of text inside makecell, use \renewcommand\cellalign{cc}. The first argument(c here) is for horizontal alignment and the second argument is for vertical alignment. – Cyriac Antony Aug 24 '20 at 6:47

here are some cell definitions that i've used to good effect in situations where the content of table cells was essentially text:


the job(s) involved had \usepackage{array} to get the augmented facilities.

of course, the dimensions were specific to the job, and would need to be changed depending on the circumstances; and fine tuning was definitely needed in the actual jobs involved. type was assumed to be 10pt for \lcell and \ccell or 8pt for \slcell; i also \setlength{\extrarowheight}{1pt} to keep the tops of cell content from crashing into lines above, and the \strut assures consistent clearance below.

line breaks in cells were usually manual (though they needn't be), with \break, and if a continuation line should be indented in a left-aligned cell, an \hspace* would be needed. the \par at the end ensures that the specified baseline is observed.

to me, multi-line text content of cells looks much better with "normal" text baseline settings than it does with the usual table row separation.

for table headings, vertical centering of multiple lines doesn't look so good; they look better aligned at the bottom. here's the definition i used for that:


some of these headings ran to four or more lines (complicated headings above narrow columns of numbers). the results were actually quite respectable.


You can also put minipages in your cells. Its especially interesting if you have a whole text in a cell and you want it to make linebreaks by its own.


\begin{tabular}{|l|l|} \hline
\begin{minipage}{5mm} ~\\ foo \\ bar \\ \end{minipage} & foo \\ \hline
foo & bar \\ \hline
  • 4
    Welcome to Tex.SX! Your answer seems good to me, however you could maybe expand it a little or provide an example to make it more efficient. Do not forget to "quote" an already existing answer if you referred to it create yours. – Ludovic C. Nov 7 '13 at 10:14

Why Not partition your text into two rows just donot put the hline between the rows, something like this:

A & B &C\\
D & E &F\\
G & H & I\\
  • 2
    It's more work than a \shortstack for example. In general it will result in a lot of &. – Trilarion Sep 11 '14 at 13:23
  • and it is not flexible. What if you want to change the order of rows or columns after creating the table? – Cyriac Antony Aug 24 '20 at 6:48

The array function works like a charm. I have extra functions in here that are not necessary for answering the above question such as the \resizebox - needed to fit all my words on the pdf page, \begin{figure} - I want the table centered with a caption and I know putting the table in a figure will do this, \bullet just makes a bullet for a list, \textrm just makes text non-italic while in math mode (i.e. while in between $ $). copy and paste in texmaker, it works.



Methods & Pros & Cons\\
Anharmonic DC SQUID & $\begin{array}{l}
\bullet \textrm{ Fast readout} \\ 
\bullet \textrm{ Accessible equipment}
\end{array}$ & 
\bullet \textrm{ Large currents} \\ 
\bullet \textrm{ Requires knowledge of other junction}\\
\bullet \textrm{ Not decoupled from apparatus}
  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! A nested tabular with \textbullet would also work. – Heiko Oberdiek Apr 1 '17 at 3:52

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