# What is best practice for aligning distinct arrays or tables side-by-side?

I have two related tables that could naturally be displayed side-by-side but don't have to be. However, it saves space to display them side-by-side rather than one atop the other. If I do so without tweaking the alignment, it looks ugly:

\begin{center}
$$\begin{array}{l|cccccc} & A & B & C & D & E & F \\ \hline x^A & 1 & 3 & 1 & 1 & 1 & 2 \\ x^B & 2 & 2 & 2 & 0 & 2 & 0 \\ x^C & 3 & 1 & 3 & 1 & 0 & 1 \end{array}$$
\hspace{.5in}
$$\begin{array}{l|cccc} & x & y & z & w \\ \hline q=1 & 1 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ q\neq 1 & 0 & 1 & 1 & 1 \\ \end{array}$$
\end{center} Therefore, right now I am using the following hack to make the rows line up.

\begin{center}
$$\begin{array}{l|cccccc} & A & B & C & D & E & F \\ \hline x^A & 1 & 3 & 1 & 1 & 1 & 2 \\ x^B & 2 & 2 & 2 & 0 & 2 & 0 \\ x^C & 3 & 1 & 3 & 1 & 0 & 1 \end{array}$$
\hspace{.5in}
$$\begin{array}{l|cccc} & x & y & z & w \\ \hline q=1 & 1 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ q\neq 1 & 0 & 1 & 1 & 1 \\ \multicolumn{2}{c}{ } & & & \end{array}$$
\end{center}


Is this bad practice? If so, what is the right way to do it?

If the answer is "two tables that need to be side-by-side are two tables that need to be one table"--and therefore that these two tables should not be side-by-side--so be it.

• I would use a regular display math environment (like $...$) and top-aligned arrays: \begin{array}[t]{...}.
– Werner
Aug 15, 2012 at 23:13
• Thanks! I never knew there was an [alignment] option for the array env. That certainly works to produce the second result without as bad a hack. Maybe add as answer and I'll accept if nothing even better comes along :) Aug 15, 2012 at 23:16

Since the contents is a display of math content, I'd suggest a display math environment with some fixed-width separation (like \qquad). Also align the arrays at the top: \documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
I have two related tables that could naturally be displayed side-by-side but don't have to be.
However, it saves space to display them side-by-side rather than one atop the other. If I do so
without tweaking the alignment, it looks ugly:
\begin{center}
$$\begin{array}{l|cccccc} & A & B & C & D & E & F \\ \hline x^A & 1 & 3 & 1 & 1 & 1 & 2 \\ x^B & 2 & 2 & 2 & 0 & 2 & 0 \\ x^C & 3 & 1 & 3 & 1 & 0 & 1 \end{array}$$
\hspace{.5in}
$$\begin{array}{l|cccc} & x & y & z & w \\ \hline q=1 & 1 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ q\neq 1 & 0 & 1 & 1 & 1 \\ \end{array}$$
\end{center}
The following is a little cleaner:
$\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.2} \begin{array}[t]{l|cccccc} & A & B & C & D & E & F \\ \hline x^A & 1 & 3 & 1 & 1 & 1 & 2 \\ x^B & 2 & 2 & 2 & 0 & 2 & 0 \\ x^C & 3 & 1 & 3 & 1 & 0 & 1 \end{array} \qquad \begin{array}[t]{l|cccc} & x & y & z & w \\ \hline q=1 & 1 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ q\neq 1 & 0 & 1 & 1 & 1 \end{array}$
\end{document}​


This will ensure a consistent spacing with other display math content. Also, using a larger \arraystretch sometimes help with superscripts/subscripts running into other rows.