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

  \vskip 2em%
  \let \footnote \thanks
    {\LARGE \@title \par}%
    \vskip 1.5em%
      \lineskip .5em%
    \vskip 1em%
    {\large \@date}%
  \vskip 1.5em}

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

  • 3
    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)

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

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.

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