Tables, Arrays, and Matrices

In text mode, tables are created using the tabular environment. The analagous structure for math mode is the array environment. There is also an envoronment in math mode specifically for matrices, matrix.

The Tabular Environment

Like any environment, the tabular environment is started with \begin{tabular}{} and ended with \end{tabular}. It takes one mandatory arguments and one optional argument. The mandatory argument tells LaTeX how to format the columns.


Packages for Tables


Sometimes the native tabular environment just doesn’t cut it. For example, LaTeX typesets the entire tabular environment in one page, but sometimes it is okay for tables to be split between pages or to go on for multiple pages. In this case, declare \usepackage{tabular} in the preamble and use \begin{longtable} and \end{longtable} just as you would with the tabular environment.

The Matrix Environment

This works much like the previous two environments, but the matrix environemt is specifically designed for mathematical matrices. Note that there are several modified versions of the matrix environment which may come in handy.


The smallmatrix environment is useful for creating inline matrices which do not disrupt line spacing.

The identity matrix, $\begin{matrix}1&0\\0&1\end{matrix}$
The identity matrix, $\begin{smallmatrix}1&0\\0&1\end{smallmatrix}$