1

Okay, here's another one on tables (maybe we should do a series).

So, we've got our tables grouped together nicely with braces (thanks to some great answers to an earlier question). enter image description here

Follow the link for the code.

The new question is about overlaying annotations (perhaps with tikz) over tables and tex, etc. Like so: enter image description here

Just some faint lines to help the reader trace between corresponding values located in adjacent tables. This is particularly useful for comparing and contrasting similarities and differences.

Here's a couple of quick examples showing how easy it is to draw the lines in a tikz only environment.

enter image description here

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz,xcolor}
\usetikzlibrary{positioning}

\begin{document}

\begin{tikzpicture}

\tikzstyle{block} = [draw, rectangle, 
    minimum height=2.5em, text centered, 
    text width=1.9em]

  \node[block,                    ] (A) {$A$};
  \node[block, below=+1.000cm of A] (B) {$B$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of A] (C) {$C$};
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of B] (D) {$D$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of C] (E) {$E$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of D] (F) {$F$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of E] (G) {$G$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of F] (H) {$H$}; 
  \draw[-,dotted,thick,       color={black!40!white}] (A) -- (B);
  \draw[-,dotted,thick,       color={black!40!white}] (C) -- (D);
  \draw[-,dotted,thick,       color={black!40!white}] (E) -- (F);
  \draw[-,dotted,thick,       color={black!40!white}] (G) -- (H);

\end{tikzpicture}

\begin{tikzpicture}

\tikzstyle{block} = [draw, rectangle, 
    minimum height=2.5em, text centered, 
    text width=1.9em]

  \node[block,                    ] (A) {$A$};
  \node[block, below=+1.000cm of A] (B) {$B$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of A] (C) {$C$};
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of B] (D) {$D$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of C] (E) {$E$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of D] (F) {$F$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of E] (G) {$G$}; 
  \node[block, right=-0.015cm of F] (H) {$H$}; 
  \draw[-,line width=+0.916cm,color={black!20!white}] (A) -- (B);
  \draw[-,line width=+0.916cm,color={black!20!white}] (E) -- (F);

\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

Or simply:

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz,xcolor}
\usetikzlibrary{positioning}
\begin{document}

\tikzstyle{block} = [draw, rectangle, 
    minimum height=2.5em, text centered, 
    text width=1.9em]

\begin{tikzpicture}

  \node[block,               ] (A) {$A$};
  \node[block, below=1cm of A] (B) {$B$}; 
  \draw[-,dotted,thick,      color={black!40!white}] (A) -- (B);

\end{tikzpicture}

\begin{tikzpicture}

  \node[block,               ] (A) {$A$};
  \node[block, below=1cm of A] (B) {$B$}; 
  \draw[-,line width=0.916cm,color={black!40!white}] (A) -- (B);

\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

     

Maybe I should have done the table in tikz from the beginning, but no matter, sometimes you already have the tables prepared, or for whatever reason you might just want/need to do it a certain way. So anyway, the problem is overlaying the annotations over the things that are already on the page - as opposed to before or after.

2

I think you got cheated. The code I base my answer on cannot be from David. It is neither complicated nor does it have any z's. To rectify this I add something slightly more complicated with a \Z.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{tikzmark}
\usepackage{eso-pic}
\begin{document}
\begin{table}
$\left\{
\begin{minipage}[c]{0.45\textwidth}%
\begin{center}
\tikzmarknode{tab1}{\begin{tabular}{|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|}
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\ 
\hline 
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
\hline 
\end{tabular}}
\end{center}
\caption{Table \#1}

\begin{center}
\tikzmarknode{tab2}{\begin{tabular}{|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|}
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\ 
\hline 
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
\hline 
\end{tabular}}%
\end{center}
\caption{Table \#2}
\end{minipage}
\begin{minipage}[c]{0.45\textwidth}%

\begin{center}
\tikzmarknode{tab3}{\begin{tabular}{|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|}
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\ 
\hline 
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
\hline 
\end{tabular}}
\end{center}
\caption{Table \#3}

\begin{center}
\tikzmarknode{tab4}{\begin{tabular}{|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|c|}
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\ 
\hline 
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
\hline 
a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
\hline 
\end{tabular}}%
\end{center}
\caption{Table \#4}
\end{minipage}
\right\}$
\end{table}
\AddToShipoutPictureBG*{%
\begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture,overlay]
\foreach \Z in {1,3} {% <- this \Z is dedicated to David Carlisle
 \path (tab\Z.south west) -- (tab\Z.south east) foreach \X in {0,...,8} 
 {coordinate[pos=\X/8] (p\Z-\X)};
 \foreach \X  in {0,2,4,6} 
 {\fill[gray!20] (p\Z-\X) rectangle
 (p\Z-\the\numexpr\X+1\relax|-tab\the\numexpr\Z+1\relax.north);}
}
\end{tikzpicture}}
\end{document}

enter image description here

And this is also just for fun. In case you get bored typing 1, 2 and a, b etc. by hand, you can ask TikZ for help.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{positioning,matrix,backgrounds,decorations.pathreplacing}
\newcounter{dummy}
\begin{document}
\begin{table}
\centering
\begin{tikzpicture}[mymat/.style={matrix of nodes,nodes in empty cells,
 cells={nodes={draw,minimum width=1.8em,text height=1em,text
 depth=0.5ex}},
 column sep=-\pgflinewidth,row sep=-\pgflinewidth,
 row 1/.style={nodes={execute at begin node={%
 \setcounter{dummy}{\the\pgfmatrixcurrentcolumn}\alph{dummy}}}},
 row 2/.style={nodes={execute at begin node={%
 \the\pgfmatrixcurrentcolumn}}},
 row 3/.style={nodes={execute at begin node={%
 \setcounter{dummy}{\the\pgfmatrixcurrentcolumn}\alph{dummy}}}}}]
 \node[mymat] (mat1){
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 };
 \node[below=1ex of mat1,text width=10em] (cap1) {\caption{Table \#1.}};
 \node[mymat,below=6em of mat1] (mat2){
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 };
 \node[below=1em of mat2,text width=10em] (cap2) {\caption{Table \#2.}};
 \node[mymat,right=4em of mat1] (mat3){
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 };
 \node[below=1ex of mat3,text width=10em] (cap3) {\caption{Table \#3.}};
 \node[mymat,below=6em of mat3] (mat4){
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 & & & & & & & \\
 };
 \node[below=1em of mat4,text width=10em] (cap4) {\caption{Table \#4.}};
 \draw[thick,decoration={brace,mirror},decorate] (mat1.north west) --
    (mat2.west|-cap2.south);
 \draw[thick,decoration={brace},decorate] (mat3.north east) -- 
    (mat4.east|-cap4.south);
 \begin{scope}[on background layer]
 \foreach \X in {1,3,5,7}
  {\fill[gray!20] (mat1-3-\X.south west) rectangle (mat2-1-\X.north east);
  \fill[gray!20] (mat3-3-\X.south west) rectangle (mat4-1-\X.north east);}
 \end{scope}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{table}
\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Cheated how? Z's? I'm not sure what you mean. It might seem less complicated if you explain what you've done or how your code works. You introduce new packages, libraries, styles, \tikzmarknode{, various calculations involving \the\numexpr, something called \AddToShipoutPictureBG*{%. It is kind of complicated. Which is fine -- it does more; it's going to be more complex. It would be nice if you included some comments in the code, or spoke a bit about what's going on for the new guys like myself. <3 Thanks though, I'll try it out in the meantime. – voices Aug 10 at 12:52
  • @tjt263 The comment on David was a joke. (I am now trapped at an airport and there won't be lenghty explanations at this point. The first code uses David's code literally but wraps it into a \tikzmarknode such that we can draw the shaded regions between the tables. \AddToShipoutPictureBG*{ is a trick to to draw these on the background even though we use dimensions of objects that we were adding before. The second code switches gears completely and does everything with TikZ. All of this is standard with the only exception of filling in the entries. – user121799 Aug 11 at 1:01
1
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[hscale=0.65]{geometry} % enlarge margins a little bit for the example
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{calc, fit, matrix, positioning}

\newdimen\mytableswidth

\tikzset{my matrix of nodes/.style={
           inner sep=0, row sep=-\pgflinewidth, column sep=-\pgflinewidth,
           execute at begin cell=\node\bgroup\strut,
           execute at end cell=\egroup;,
           nodes={draw, anchor=base,
                  minimum width=
                    \pgfkeysvalueof{/tikz/matrix separator/minimum width},
                  minimum height=1cm}
         },
         matrix separator/.style={
           every node/.style={
             minimum width=\pgfkeysvalueof{/tikz/matrix separator/minimum width},
             minimum height=2.5cm
           },
           every odd column/.style={nodes={draw=white, fill={gray!30}}},
           every even column/.style={nodes={draw=white}},
           execute at empty cell={\node {};}
         }
}

\begin{document}

\begin{table}
\centering
\begin{tikzpicture}[matrix separator/minimum width/.initial=0.7cm]
\matrix[my matrix of nodes, name=A, matrix anchor=south]
{
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
  1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
};

\matrix[my matrix of nodes, name=sep, below, matrix separator]
{   &   &   &   &   &   &   &  \\};

\matrix[my matrix of nodes, name=B, below=0pt of sep]
{
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
  1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
};

% This:
\path let \p1=($(A.east)-(A.west)$) in \pgfextra{\global\mytableswidth=\x1};
% or \global\mytableswidth=10cm to manually set the width of the caption boxes
\node[text width=\mytableswidth] (caption1) at ([yshift=-\baselineskip]A.south)
  {\caption{Table \#1}};
\node[text width=\mytableswidth] (caption2) at ([yshift=-\baselineskip]B.south)
  {\caption{Table \#2}};

\coordinate (lpadding) at ([xshift=-0.7em]sep.west);
\node[inner sep=0, fit=(A) (sep) (B) (lpadding) (caption1) (caption2),
      left delimiter=\{] {};
\end{tikzpicture}%
%
\hfill
%
\begin{tikzpicture}[matrix separator/minimum width/.initial=0.7cm]
\matrix[my matrix of nodes, name=A, matrix anchor=south]
{
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
  1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
};

\matrix[my matrix of nodes, name=sep, below, matrix separator]
{   &   &   &   &   &   &   &  \\};

\matrix[my matrix of nodes, name=B, below=0pt of sep]
{
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
  1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8\\
  a & b & c & d & e & f & g & h\\
};

\path let \p1=($(A.east)-(A.west)$) in \pgfextra{\global\mytableswidth=\x1};
\node[text width=\mytableswidth] (caption1) at ([yshift=-\baselineskip]A.south)
  {\caption{Table \#3}};
\node[text width=\mytableswidth] (caption2) at ([yshift=-\baselineskip]B.south)
  {\caption{Table \#4}};

\coordinate (rpadding) at ([xshift=0.7em]sep.east);
\node[inner sep=0, fit=(A) (sep) (B) (rpadding) (caption1) (caption2),
      right delimiter=\}] {};
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{table}

\end{document}

screenshot

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