[texhax] Some Naive \halign questions

Philip TAYLOR [PC87S-O/XP] P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Thu Jul 24 15:45:43 CEST 2003

The simple reason is that by putting \vrules into
columns in their own right, the spacing around them
automatically scales with \tabskip.

Philip Taylor, RHBNC
Greg Pavelcak wrote:
> 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
> table
>         \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
> experiments).
> 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.
> Greg
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