# Difference between \\ and \tabularnewline

What is the difference between \\ and \tabularnewline? Is it same as the difference between \\ and newline?

Is \tabularnewline preferred over \\ when creating tables?

• Which package (if any) are you using for tabular material? – percusse Oct 23 '12 at 15:01
• @percusse I was wondering about the difference after seeing some questions and answers posted here. I tried searching for tabularnewline but it gave me lot of results, but wasn't able to find the difference. – mythealias Oct 23 '12 at 15:11
• No problem. As David mentioned, the doublebackslashes are redefined a lot so I was trying to narrow down the focus if it was specifically about one implementation. – percusse Oct 23 '12 at 15:50

If your tabular contains p-columns, then there is a ambiguity: Does \\ should end a line inside a cell or should it end a tabular row? The use of \newline and \tabularnewline make that clear, the first ends the line in a cell, the latter the row of the table.
See also \arraybackslash of package array that can be used to reset the meaning of \\ to be \tabularnewline, from the documentation:
\arraybackslash: Restore \\ for use in array and tabular environment (after \raggedright etc.).
\def\arraybackslash{\let\\\tabularnewline}

• +1 Heiko beat me by 30 seconds:-) so the main point is that \ has many definitions in latex: in tables, in normal text in centering etc it is locally defined to whatever needs doing. – David Carlisle Oct 23 '12 at 15:18
• In my limited usage I have always seen \ end tabular row. So is \tabularnewline for clarity for the user? (If it matters I usually use memoir and article document) – mythealias Oct 23 '12 at 15:53