x \mskip100mu & x

Before reading further, ask yourself, how far apart the two 𝑥 should be in the output? What do the specifications of LaTeX and tabularx say about this?

Feeding this to pdflatex (latex would also do) from TeX Live 2023 and TeX Live 2024 yields the following output, viewed in diffpdf:


To the left, you see a part of the output in TeX Live 2023, and to the right, a part of the output in TeX Live 2024. In TL'23, the columns were closer apart than they are now in TL'24. The left 𝑥 maintains its position on the page, but the right 𝑥 moves further to the right; its positions in TL'23 and TL'24 are marked red above.

My hunch is that having them far apart is the right behavior and that eating up the \mskip as before in TL'23 makes no sense. Is this true, or am I right? However, tabularx has been making array eat up the math skip for quote some time; I see this even in TL'07. Therefore, for whatever reason, swallowing the math skip might have been intentional.

Without tabularx, both columns are far apart. Therefore, as long as the features of tabularx remain unused, the output should probably stay the same when you simply add \usepackage{tabularx}, be this output right™ or wrong™ with respect to the specification of LaTeX.

1 Answer 1


tabularx is not involved here other than it loads array.

In previous releases the mskip is removed but in 2024 that was fixed


  • Thx! In array.pdf in the current TeX Live 2024 I see, “Do the unskip only if we are in hmode” in §7. There is also a bunch of “These functions are documented on page ??.” in the document. You probably wish to replace the question marks with meaningful numbers or drop the sentences altogether.
    – AlMa1r
    Commented Jun 20 at 22:20
  • @AlMa1r oops that's accidental breakage from switching to l3doc class from doc, we'll fix. Commented Jun 20 at 22:45

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