# Why does tabularx give a trailing column - and how can I get rid of that?

So, I am trying to create a table using;

\begin{tabularx}{\textwidth}{|c|c|c|}
\hline
col1 & col2 & col3 \\
\hline
item 11 & item 12 & item 13 \\ \hline
item 21  & item 22  & item 23 \\\hline
\end{tabularx}


My only requirement is that if the table is too wide for the page, it should automatically adjust all the contents INSIDE of itself so that it can fit the page . ( e.g if there's too much text, introduce line breaks in text and so on .. )

However, the tabularx environment is behaving rather strangely and giving the following result :

I just want to know what is the reason for that 'trailing' column appearing & how can I get rid of it? According to the code, I only specified 3 columns, so why the fourth column ?

Also, what can I do to make sure this table fits on the page, when I insert all the text and it is too wide ?

I am using IEEE Double Column Conference Template on LaTeX

• never use tabularx without an X column, you are just using c so it has no way to achieve the specified width (this will also fix your "also..." question as the point of tabularx is to adjust line breaking in X columns, but c columns do not allow lie breaking so thetable just gets wider as you add more text. Feb 27 at 23:07
• @DavidCarlisle, can i ask what is an x column and should i use it in my case ? I would also appreciate if you can take a look at the next part of the question ( fitting the column into the page width ). Thank you ! Edit : i think you answered it in your edit Feb 27 at 23:09
• any documentation that told you about tabularx will have examples of X in use, that is the sole extension that tabularx has over tabular. see texdoc tabularx Feb 27 at 23:10
• @DavidCarlisle many thanks ! and much obliged, i know you're one of the creators of LaTeX :) If you type your guidance as an answer, i will be happy to mark it as the correct solution ! Feb 27 at 23:15

Never use tabularx without an X column, you are just using c so it has no way to achieve the specified width (this will also fix your "also..." question as the point of tabularx is to adjust line breaking in X columns, but c columns do not allow line breaking so the table just gets wider as you add more text.