I am fairly new to LaTeX and I have a quite basic question. I create tables like this:

        \begin{tabular}{@{\extracolsep{5pt}}lD{.}{.}{-2} D{.}{.}{-2} D{.}{.}{-2} }
            Test & 1 & 2 & 3

However, I have a lot of tables and their number of columns differs. Accordingly, the font size changes automatically to my marginal settings (\resizebox{\textwidth}), i.e. the more columns the table has the smaller the font size. Is there a way to align the font size of all tables at once?

I know that I can decrease the font size manually by increasing the number within \extracolsep{5pt} to e.g.


However, I don't want to do this for every table and compare the results until they roughly coincide.


  • 1
    Without a complete example it is difficult to see but my first suggestion would be to get rid of the \resizebox. That should be used only as a last resort for desperate cases. Why should all tables have the same width? A table with ten columns will be likely broader than one with three; so?
    – campa
    Jan 14, 2021 at 14:11
  • These inconsistent font sizes you observed are exactly the reason why you should not scale tables. If you want to make a table as wide as the textwidth, there are better options such as tabularx or tabular*. Which one to use depends on the table and its contents. There most likely is no solution that is applicable to all your tables.
    – leandriis
    Jan 14, 2021 at 15:20
  • never scale tables! Jan 14, 2021 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


Never scale tables, as you see, scaling just produces inconsistent font sizes.

Simply use

        \begin{tabular}{lD{.}{.}{-2} D{.}{.}{-2} D{.}{.}{-2} }
            Test & 1 & 2 & 3

or if \small is still too large \footnotsize.

Note that \extracolsep does nothing in tabular (it is used to give stretch space for tabular* to achieve the target width of the table). I also removed [H] which should be used very sparingly as it disables the float positioning algorithm (and specifying that the table may float is the sole purpose of the table environment).

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