Thank you for your replies! I didn't know that there are tabular-packages which are capable of inserting minimal vertical space between the lines. Maybe one of these packages (resp. certain concepts) should be built into LaTeX3 to set a standard and to prevent incompatible packages. (But who decides which one?) (With ``arbitrary preambles for the horizontal alignment'' I meant, that one should have a preamble-syntax just like with the array-environment.) Now to the problem of \displaystyle in every column. David and Donald suggested to use \displaystyle as the argument of an ``everymath''-command. This is a solution but it might cause side-effects if one uses text inside the array: \begin{array}{ll} & \Hom(M,\sum_i V_i) =& \sum_i\Hom(M,V_i) ,\quad\mbox{since $M$ is $(\bigoplus_i V_i)$-projective} \end{array} Here an explanation appears inside a calculation. The calculation should be printed in \displaystyle, but not the `little' math-symbols in the explanation. I often use constructions of this form. Wouldn't it be better to introduce something like ``\everycolumn{}''? Volker