Adding Vertical Space Between Two Horizontal Lines in a Table

Today, someone asked me how to add vertical space between two horizontal lines in a table in LaTeX. I haven’t done this before that I can recall, so I did a quick search on Google for an answer. I didn’t find one with the search terms I used (and the moment that I spent looking), so I am writing up my solution in case anyone else comes across this problem.

My solution was to use the multirow package, add a multi-column element to span all of the table’s columns, and set the row to not have any vertical lines. So, the important line here is \multicolumn{2}{c}{}\\[-.5ex]. First, I set that I want to span some number of columns, in this case 2 ({2}). Then I specify that I don’t want any vertical lines on the with the second parameter ({c}). Finally, I set the third parameter to blank so that it is just whitespace ({}). After that I set a vertical space with \\[-.5ex]. This makes a newline and sets the amount of vertical space. I believe that the \multicolumn command will have 1 line’s worth of white space already, so the linebreak command lets me decrease or increase that.

Here’s a quick example table that mimics the look of the table I was asked to assist with.

\begin{table}
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{|c|c|}
\hline
A & B\\
\hline
C & D\\
\hline
\multicolumn{2}{c}{}\\[-.5ex]
\hline
E & F\\
\hline
G & H\\
\hline
\end{tabular}
\end{center}
\end{table}

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