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Vertical centering in tables -- or, why isn't there a FAQ?

From: Nimrod Zimerman
Subject: Vertical centering in tables -- or, why isn't there a FAQ?
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 03:25:05 +0300


I start with a formality. I apologize for sending a message as mindless as
this one, but having tried all other resources available (namely, reading
the user's and expert's guides, and browsing (or rather, trying to
browse) the old mailing list archives), I'm clue less.
It so happens that the HOWTO document, linked to from the official website,
is not accessible. Other means of locating it have failed.
The mailing list itself is, and I trust I'm revealing a known secret,
not very useful at locating specific stuff, since it lacks any kind of
search facility. Since the archive is not huge, an idea - make it all
downloadable, so that more traditional means of searching (good old grep)
could be applied.
Also, HyperMail's threading ability is, at best, amusing. I trust that's not
a big secret either. <g>

And now, to the actual content.
The problem is very simple, and I doubt even requires a demonstration.
In a @Tab, I want to be able to center table elements vertically such as

             Column A     Column B

             First entry
             in column A  This one is
             spans        somewhat
             several      shorter.

Mainly, I need this because I need to use a symbol, such as '@Sym radical',
and it has to be placed in the middle of the line or things simply look bad.

I trust this is possible in some very simple manner, but I still lack
Lout understanding to figure out how to achieve that. A naive attempt
involved something like '//0.5rt' in front of the text to be centered, but
it was merely a shot in the dark, and didn't produce the hoped for

A simple thing I can do involves inserting a fixed gap in front of the text,
using something like '//5p'. It works. It isn't what I'm looking for.
It isn't quite smart enough. <g>

Any help would be appreciated.


P.S. - It goes without saying that I find Lout extremely useful and
practical, not to mention quite innovative, and that I believe it is going
to be the tool I'm going to use for my day to day typesetting requirements.
Shouldn't have said that, right?

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