[texhax] Some Naive \halign questions

Greg Pavelcak gpav at attbi.com
Wed Jul 23 22:45:29 CEST 2003

Hello all,

I have a couple of general questions about the way \halign is used in
"TeX by Topic" and "The Advanced TeXbook". Take it easy on me as I'm a
TeX newbie. It took me most of the day to create a one page table followed
by an eps signature.

It seems they both favor leaving the \vrule on its own in the preamble,
for example

	\halign{\vrule#&\hfil#\hfil&\vrule# ...

That means I end up with extra tab characters in my table

	&First Entry&&Second Entry
		For the \vrule

Why not incorporate the \vrule into the regular entries to tidy the

	\halign{\vrule\hfil#\hfil&\vrule\hfil#\hfil ...\cr

	First Entry&Second Entry

I assume there's some reason.

Also, \noalign{\hrule} is favored over \hrulefill. Is it easier to
process? \hrulefill seems more versatile (it's the only way I could get
horizontal rules on only some of the table cells in a row in my

Finally, how does one judge a TeXpert? Seriously. I notice TUG posts
jobs, and while I'm pretty sure I'm not ready for serious TeXing yet,
I'd like to see some idea of what they expect you to be able to do.

Thanks for any input.


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