I am trying to figure out a simple way to emulate a technique used in a table appearing in a recent paper. Consider the following figure:

Stack threat taxonomy

What I'm specifically interested in is where they've extended the columns downwards and placed each column's description header on its own row.


  1. Does typesetting a tabular environment like this have a name?
  2. Is there an easy way to do this other than using (abusing?) numerous partial vertical lines and horizontal lines?

For example, just the first row above "Read freed stack memory" would need to remove the zeroth and first vertical line and the second through seventh column's bottom horizontal rule. The next row would need to remove the zeroth through second vertical line and the third through seventh column's bottom horizontal rule, and so forth. A complex table with many rows and columns would quickly become difficult to produce using nothing but \multicolumn commands. Also note that the column titles are left justified to the zeroth column and span columns 0 and 1.

Finally, I know how to handle all of the other remaining necessities to producing this table, including rotating the row heading, adding citations, colored symbols (X and R), and justification within a single column. If you'd like to omit that from a proposed answer in order to simplify the resulting code, feel free.

Related Questions

I've searched a few of the related topics here on TeX Exchange, and here is my reasoning why I don't think they answer the question.

  • 1
    Here's another related question. How to format table with long column head entries? Personally I think this approach leads to a more readable table than the image you show, which reminds me of the famous impossible trident optical illusion.
    – Alan Munn
    May 29, 2018 at 20:40
  • @AlanMunn looking at the rendered table in the accepted answer, I think that will do the trick! Bonus points because it works in Beamer too, which I hadn't considered. Please write that suggestion as an answer, and I will accept it. May 30, 2018 at 16:24
  • Since you haven't posted any code, I think I'll just vote to close this as a duplicate.
    – Alan Munn
    May 30, 2018 at 16:30


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