# How prevent my side-by-side tables from overlapping?

I have two long tables, that I want side-by-side. When I use country codes they are OK, but as I want to use country names instead, they get too wide and overlap. As far as I can see, there is still plenty of space left on the page for the tables to be side by side without overlapping. I don't need to make the tables look very nice (yet), I just need them to be readable.

\documentclass[a4paper,12pt,times]{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{table}
\centering
\caption{blablabla}
\resizebox{0.6\textwidth}{!}{

\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{lc|lc}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline

\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}

\hfill

\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
\centering

\begin{tabular}{lc|lc}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -1.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.4 & A very very long country name & -0.01\tabularnewline

\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}}
\end{table}
\end{document}

• Welcome! Please provide a minimal working example that starts with \documentclass and ends with \end{document}. – user121799 Dec 11 '17 at 18:15

The tables are overlapping because you squeeze them into minipages of fixed width. Maybe the following snippet helps you to find a better solution. Notice, however, that I had to guess a document class and a preamble.

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[left=2cm,right=2cm,top=2cm,bottom=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{array}
\begin{document}
Your original minipages were not wide enough to fit all the stuff you put there.
However, were also using a \texttt{tabular} environment, which prevented the
lines from breaking. Since you were using the \texttt{minipage} environment, I'm
wondering if you want the text to break. In that case consider
\begin{table}[h]
\centering
\caption{blablabla}
\begin{tabular}{cc}
\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{p{2.5cm}c|p{2.5cm}c}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}
&
\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{p{2.5cm}c|p{2.5cm}c}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -1.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.4 & A very very long country name & -0.01\tabularnewline
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}%}
\end{tabular}
\end{table}

If you really want to use resizebox, recall first that
\verb|\resizebox{0.6\textwidth}{!}{stuff}| scales stuff to 0.6$\times$textwidth,
which is probably not what you wanted. I'm assuming you wanted to use
\verb|\scalebox| instead. A somewhat more appropriate usage of \verb|\resizebox|
yields
\begin{table}[h]
\centering
\caption{blablabla}
\resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{%
\begin{tabular}{m{16cm}m{16cm}}
\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{p{6cm}c|p{6cm}c}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}
&
\begin{minipage}{.5\linewidth}
\centering
\begin{tabular}{p{6cm}c|p{6cm}c}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -1.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.4 & A very very long country name & -0.01\tabularnewline
\end{tabular}
\end{minipage}%
\end{tabular}%
}
\end{table}

However, for the sake of readability I'd recommend not use this method.

\end{document}


• Thank you. I do not want lines to break. The solution for table 2 worked best, I now how a readable table, but I will spend some time trying to understand what is going on in your two suggestions. – AnneDoe Dec 12 '17 at 11:06

for two parallel tables in float you not need minipages. for nicer text filing in cells i suggest to use RaggedRight command from ragged2e packages. also smaller font (but not smaller than \footnotesize) and tabcolsep will be of help:

\documentclass[11pt,a4paper]{article}
\usepackage[left=2cm,right=2cm,top=2cm,bottom=2cm]{geometry}
\usepackage[skip=1ex]{caption}
\usepackage{ragged2e}
\usepackage{array}
\newcolumntype{R}[1]{>{\RaggedRight\hspace{0pt}}p{#1}}

\begin{document}
\begin{table}[ht]
\caption{blablabla}
\centering
\renewcommand\arraystretch{1.2}
\setlength\tabcolsep{3pt}
\small
%
\begin{tabular}[t]{R{2.5cm}c|R{2.5cm}c}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}   \tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
\end{tabular}\hfill
\begin{tabular}[t]{R{2.5cm}c|R{2.5cm}c}
\multicolumn{2}{l}{OLS} & \multicolumn{2}{r}{OLS}\tabularnewline
\hline
\multicolumn{4}{c}{Negative}\tabularnewline
\hline
A very very long country name & -1.00 & A very very long country name & -0.00\tabularnewline
A very very long country name & -0.4 & A very very long country name & -0.01\tabularnewline
\end{tabular}
\end{table}
\end{document}


edit:

if you like to stick both table together, than in above mwe replace lines

\end{tabular}\hfill
\begin{tabular}[t]{R{2.5cm}c|R{2.5cm}c}


with:

\end{tabular}%
\begin{tabular}[t]{R{2.5cm}c|R{2.5cm}c}


and with use of \footnotesize for font size you will obtain:

however, i wonder, why you not set this tables as one in the first place?

• Thank you. I honestly don't quite understand the usage of minipage, I just googled how to make to tables side-by-side, and most of the suggestions contained minipage. I will spend some more time trying to perfectionize my tables later, and study your suggestion. What if I don't want lines to break? – AnneDoe Dec 12 '17 at 11:09
• then replace \hfill after end{tabular} with sign % – Zarko Dec 12 '17 at 13:30
• @AnneDoe, see edit of my answer – Zarko Dec 12 '17 at 17:14
• Thank you, again. Does the % itself have any function? I thought it was just for commenting. And you've got a very good point. I started off with two separate tables on two separate pages, and later figured out I wanted them side by side. Making one table would probably be much wiser now that I know I want them on one page. – AnneDoe Dec 19 '17 at 11:45
• @AnneDoe, with% is deleted any space after it, i.e. if it follow immediately after the first table (as is in my code above), the second table is tied to the first. – Zarko Dec 19 '17 at 13:18