# Why is this tabular environment necessary?

In this post I discovered that the definition of \maketitle is:

\def\@maketitle{%
\newpage
\null
\vskip 2em%
\begin{center}%
\let \footnote \thanks
{\LARGE \@title \par}%
\vskip 1.5em%
{\large
\lineskip .5em%
\begin{tabular}[t]{c}%
\@author
\end{tabular}\par}%
\vskip 1em%
{\large \@date}%
\end{center}%
\par
\vskip 1.5em}
\fi


My question is: why is \author typeset in a tabular environment when the title and date aren't?

• Because of the alignment in case of having more than one author. It's easier. \and is a cunning way of \endtabular...\tabular – user31729 Jan 26 at 22:40
• Also, is \maketitle necessary? – John Kormylo Jan 27 at 19:56

You have to supplement this with the definition of \and:

\end{tabular}\hskip 1em plus .17fil\begin {tabular}[t]{c}


So if you specify

\author{A. Uthor \\ Here University \and W. Riter \\ There University}


the author part will become (reformatted and with \and replaced for clarity)

\begin{tabular}[t]{c}%
A. Uthor \\ Here University
\end{tabular}
\hskip 1em plus .17fil
\begin {tabular}[t]{c}
W. Riter \\ There University
\end{tabular}\par


Thus you get two distinct tabular, separated by some horizontal spacing. If only one author is expected, then tabular wouldn't be necessary, but this is frequently not the case.