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I’m trying to achieve similar results as described in ‘Use \nopagebreak (or similar) in supertabular’.

I tried two solutions: first (before looking for the answer) replacing all \\ which I didn’t want to break with \nopagebreak\\\nopagebreak (it only works with both \nopagebreaks); then using the \shrinkheight solution in the answer linked above.

Both ‘worked’, but both have a problem where sometimes a column break is inserted before a table where absolutely none is needed. On page 4 in the MWE below, for example.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{supertabular}

\newcommand{\shortlipsum}[0]{Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis feugiat lorem mi, eu aliquam lacus aliquam ac. Phasellus aliquet interdum libero, vel posuere erat pharetra et. Fusce eu rutrum lectus, in auctor tellus. Donec posuere elit non lorem volutpat blandit. Etiam nibh enim, consectetur vel vestibulum vel, vestibulum id orci. Nulla lacinia magna eu eros finibus rhoncus.}

\newcommand{\exampletable}[0]{
{\tablehead{& \textit{hello} & \textit{world} \\}
\begin{supertabular}{l l l l}
  A & 1 & 2 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 3 & 4 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 5 & 6 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 7 & 8 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 9 & 10 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 11 & 12 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 13 & 14 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 15 & 16 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 17 & 18 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 19 & 20 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 21 & 22 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 23 & 24 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 25 & 26 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 27 & 28 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 29 & 30 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 31 & 32 \\\shrinkheight{\normalbaselineskip}
  A & 33 & 34 \\\shrinkheight{-\normalbaselineskip} 
  B & 35 & 36 \\
\end{supertabular}}}

\begin{document}
\twocolumn

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\shortlipsum

\exampletable

\end{document}

link to document as rendered by my TeX installation

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