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This question already has an answer here:

I have a large document that I want to fix column widths in several tables and I have previously done so using p{XXin} column types (where XX is some number). I recently moved to a new computer and therefore a new MikTex installation. My document now fails to compile when it hits the first tabular environment with a parbox column. This only appears to happen if I also call colortbl.

Here is my MWE:

\documentclass[letterpaper,12pt]{report}
\usepackage{array}
\usepackage{colortbl}
\begin{document}
\begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}
1 & 2 \\
3 & 4 \\
\end{tabular}
\end{document}

I realize that colortbl already should call array, but left it in to shown that it works if you comment out colortbl.

Is this a known issue, or has something been deprecated and I need to change how I handle this? I'm guessing that my old machine was running on packages that were several years out of date.

EDIT2: Here is the first error running pdflatex returns:

Use of \@startpbox doesn't match its definition. \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

EDIT3: Here is the log file:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.20 (MiKTeX 2.9.6960 64-bit) 

(preloaded format=pdflatex 2019.2.3)  3 FEB 2019 09:23
entering extended mode
**./MWE.tex
(MWE.tex
LaTeX2e <2018-12-01>
("C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex/base\report.cls"
Document Class: report 2018/09/03 v1.4i Standard LaTeX document class
("C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex/base\size12.clo"
File: size12.clo 2018/09/03 v1.4i Standard LaTeX file (size option)
)
\c@part=\count80
\c@chapter=\count81
\c@section=\count82
\c@subsection=\count83
\c@subsubsection=\count84
\c@paragraph=\count85
\c@subparagraph=\count86
\c@figure=\count87
\c@table=\count88
\abovecaptionskip=\skip41
\belowcaptionskip=\skip42
\bibindent=\dimen102
) ("C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex/tools\array.sty"
Package: array 2018/12/30 v2.4k Tabular extension package (FMi)
\col@sep=\dimen103
\ar@mcellbox=\box27
\extrarowheight=\dimen104
\NC@list=\toks14
\extratabsurround=\skip43
\backup@length=\skip44
\ar@cellbox=\box28
) (C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Roaming\MiKTeX\2.9\tex/latex/colortbl\colortbl.sty
Package: colortbl 2012/02/13 v1.0a Color table columns (DPC)

("C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex/graphics\color.sty
"
Package: color 2016/07/10 v1.1e Standard LaTeX Color (DPC)

("C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex/graphics-cfg\color
.cfg"
File: color.cfg 2016/01/02 v1.6 sample color configuration
)
Package color Info: Driver file: pdftex.def on input line 147.

("C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex/graphics-def\pdfte
x.def"
File: pdftex.def 2018/01/08 v1.0l Graphics/color driver for pdftex
))
\everycr=\toks15
\minrowclearance=\skip45
) (MWE.aux)
\openout1 = `MWE.aux'.

LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OML/cmm/m/it on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for T1/cmr/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OT1/cmr/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMS/cmsy/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for OMX/cmex/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    Checking defaults for U/cmr/m/n on input line 4.
LaTeX Font Info:    ... okay on input line 4.

(C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Roaming\MiKTeX\2.9\tex/context/base\supp-pdf.mkii
[Loading MPS to PDF converter (version 2006.09.02).]
\scratchcounter=\count89
\scratchdimen=\dimen105
\scratchbox=\box29
\nofMPsegments=\count90
\nofMParguments=\count91
\everyMPshowfont=\toks16
\MPscratchCnt=\count92
\MPscratchDim=\dimen106
\MPnumerator=\count93
\makeMPintoPDFobject=\count94
\everyMPtoPDFconversion=\toks17
)
LaTeX Font Info:    External font `cmex10' loaded for size
(Font)              <12> on input line 5.
LaTeX Font Info:    External font `cmex10' loaded for size
(Font)              <8> on input line 5.
LaTeX Font Info:    External font `cmex10' loaded for size
(Font)              <6> on input line 5.

! Use of \@startpbox doesn't match its definition.
<inserted text> \@startpbox {
                             |p{2in}|l|}
l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

If you say, e.g., `\def\a1{...}', then you must always
put `1' after `\a', since control sequence names are
made up of letters only. The macro here has not been
followed by the required stuff, so I'm ignoring it.

! Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup.
\@mkpream ...after \@startpbox \expandafter {#1}}}
                                                  \let \@endpbox \relax \let...
l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

I've deleted a group-closing symbol because it seems to be
spurious, as in `$x}$'. But perhaps the } is legitimate and
you forgot something else, as in `\hbox{$x}'. In such cases
the way to recover is to insert both the forgotten and the
deleted material, e.g., by typing `I$}'.

! Use of \@startpbox doesn't match its definition.
<argument> ...n \@endpbox $\or \vtop \@startpbox {
                                                  \@nextchar }\insert@column...
l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

If you say, e.g., `\def\a1{...}', then you must always
put `1' after `\a', since control sequence names are
made up of letters only. The macro here has not been
followed by the required stuff, so I'm ignoring it.

! Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup.
<argument> ...insert@column \@endpbox \fi \egroup 
                                                  \egroup \begingroup \CT@se...
l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

I've deleted a group-closing symbol because it seems to be
spurious, as in `$x}$'. But perhaps the } is legitimate and
you forgot something else, as in `\hbox{$x}'. In such cases
the way to recover is to insert both the forgotten and the
deleted material, e.g., by typing `I$}'.

! Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup.
<argument> ...olumn \@endpbox \fi \egroup \egroup 
                                                  \begingroup \CT@setup \CT@...
l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

I've deleted a group-closing symbol because it seems to be
spurious, as in `$x}$'. But perhaps the } is legitimate and
you forgot something else, as in `\hbox{$x}'. In such cases
the way to recover is to insert both the forgotten and the
deleted material, e.g., by typing `I$}'.

! Extra }, or forgotten \endgroup.
\@addtopreamble ...xdef \@preamble {\@preamble #1}

l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

I've deleted a group-closing symbol because it seems to be
spurious, as in `$x}$'. But perhaps the } is legitimate and
you forgot something else, as in `\hbox{$x}'. In such cases
the way to recover is to insert both the forgotten and the
deleted material, e.g., by typing `I$}'.

! Missing # inserted in alignment preamble.
<to be read again> 
                   &
l.5 \begin{tabular}{|p{2in}|l|}

There should be exactly one # between &'s, when an
\halign or \valign is being set up. In this case you had
none, so I've put one in; maybe that will work.

! Missing { inserted.
<to be read again> 
                   2
l.7     1
       & 2 \\ \hline
A left brace was mandatory here, so I've put one in.
You might want to delete and/or insert some corrections
so that I will find a matching right brace soon.
(If you're confused by all this, try typing `I}' now.)

! Missing } inserted.
<inserted text> 
                }
l.7     1 &
         2 \\ \hline
I've inserted something that you may have forgotten.
(See the <inserted text> above.)
With luck, this will get me unwedged. But if you
really didn't forget anything, try typing `2' now; then
my insertion and my current dilemma will both disappear.

! Missing } inserted.
<inserted text> 
                }
l.7     1 &
         2 \\ \hline
I've inserted something that you may have forgotten.
(See the <inserted text> above.)
With luck, this will get me unwedged. But if you
really didn't forget anything, try typing `2' now; then
my insertion and my current dilemma will both disappear.

! Missing } inserted.
<inserted text> 
                }
l.7     1 &
         2 \\ \hline
I've inserted something that you may have forgotten.
(See the <inserted text> above.)
With luck, this will get me unwedged. But if you
really didn't forget anything, try typing `2' now; then
my insertion and my current dilemma will both disappear.

! Missing { inserted.
<to be read again> 
                   2
l.8     3
       & 4 \\ \hline
A left brace was mandatory here, so I've put one in.
You might want to delete and/or insert some corrections
so that I will find a matching right brace soon.
(If you're confused by all this, try typing `I}' now.)

! Missing } inserted.
<inserted text> 
                }
l.8     3 &
         4 \\ \hline
I've inserted something that you may have forgotten.
(See the <inserted text> above.)
With luck, this will get me unwedged. But if you
really didn't forget anything, try typing `2' now; then
my insertion and my current dilemma will both disappear.

! Missing } inserted.
<inserted text> 
                }
l.8     3 &
         4 \\ \hline
I've inserted something that you may have forgotten.
(See the <inserted text> above.)
With luck, this will get me unwedged. But if you
really didn't forget anything, try typing `2' now; then
my insertion and my current dilemma will both disappear.

! Missing } inserted.
<inserted text> 
                }
l.8     3 &
         4 \\ \hline
I've inserted something that you may have forgotten.
(See the <inserted text> above.)
With luck, this will get me unwedged. But if you
really didn't forget anything, try typing `2' now; then
my insertion and my current dilemma will both disappear.

[1

{C:/Users/Aaron/AppData/Local/MiKTeX/2.9/pdftex/config/pdftex.map}] (MWE.aux) )

Here is how much of TeX's memory you used:
 865 strings out of 492946
 11286 string characters out of 3126267
 69296 words of memory out of 3000000
 4816 multiletter control sequences out of 15000+200000
 6376 words of font info for 23 fonts, out of 3000000 for 9000
 1141 hyphenation exceptions out of 8191
 34i,9n,19p,186b,115s stack positions out of 5000i,500n,10000p,200000b,50000s
<C:/Users/Aaron/AppData/Local/Programs/MiKTeX 2.9/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/c
m/cmmi12.pfb><C:/Users/Aaron/AppData/Local/Programs/MiKTeX 2.9/fonts/type1/publ
ic/amsfonts/cm/cmr12.pfb><C:/Users/Aaron/AppData/Local/Programs/MiKTeX 2.9/font
s/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy10.pfb>
Output written on MWE.pdf (1 page, 25894 bytes).
PDF statistics:
 18 PDF objects out of 1000 (max. 8388607)
 0 named destinations out of 1000 (max. 500000)
 1 words of extra memory for PDF output out of 10000 (max. 10000000)

marked as duplicate by David Carlisle, Mensch, Raaja, Circumscribe, AndréC Feb 3 at 19:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 2
    you have to define columntype P. Only type p is known. And, of course, you must be sure toi have an up-to-date TeX – user2478 Feb 3 at 9:37
  • 1
    the posted code does not work with or without colortbl – David Carlisle Feb 3 at 9:58
  • My apologies, made a typo moving the MWE over here. As you said, it should have been a 'p' instead of a 'P'. @Herbert – A. Weiss Feb 3 at 16:35
  • then update your tex distribution and it will work. – user2478 Feb 3 at 16:39
  • 1
    c:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Roaming\MiKTeX\2.9\tex/latex/colortbl\colortbl.sty Package: colortbl 2012/02/13 v1.0a Color table columns (DPC) is an old copy, you need to get all the files from that tree (presumably an older tex installation) or all the files from the newer tree at "C:\Users\Aaron\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\tex/latex mixing the two doesn't work. – David Carlisle Feb 3 at 18:00

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