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I want a small amount of information to be placed in columns. The problem is that the information contains paragraphs. Basically this is what I want:

Column 1 Line 1   Column 2 Line 1   Column 3 Line 1
Column 1 Line 2   Column 2 Line 2   Column 3 Line 2
                  Column 2 Line 3

The issue is that all three columns use a different font size, so merely placing each line as a row in a typical \halign doesn't work. Here is my current attempt:

\def\Center#1{\hfil #1 \hfil}
\def\UseFont#1#2{\global\font\currentFont=#1 at #2 \currentFont}
    # & # & # \cr
    \Center{Column 1 Line 1}\break\par %neither works
    \Center{Column 1 Line 2}
    \Center{Column 2 Line 1}\break\par
    \Center{Column 2 Line 2}\break\par
    \Center{Column 2 Line 3}\break\par
    \Center{Column 3 Line 1}\break\par
    \Center{Column 3 Line 2}

The problem with that code is that the newlines don't transfer. I think that the problem is that I am stuck in restricted horizontal mode because of the \halign however if I toss each column into a \vbox the width of the vbox is far too wide and prevents the other columns from showing up.

What can I do to implement this?

share|improve this question
use \vbox{\hsize=3cm#} or whatever width you want (which essentially is what latex's p{3cm} column does). – David Carlisle May 11 '14 at 17:53

enter image description here

\long\def\Center#1{\rightskip0pt plus 1fill \leftskip\rightskip \parindent0pt \parfillskip0pt\relax
\def\UseFont#1#2{\global\font\currentFont=#1 at #2 \currentFont}
    \vbox{\hsize3cm#\par} & \vbox{\hsize3cm#\par} & \vbox{\hsize3cm#\par} \cr
    \Center{Column 1 Line 1\par %neither works
    Column 1 Line 2}
    \Center{Column 2 Line 1\par
    Column 2 Line 2\par
    Column 2 Line 3}
    \Center{Column 3 Line 1\par
    Column 3 Line 2}

share|improve this answer
Thank you very much! Quick follow up: your columns are bottom-centered... this is acceptable, but not preferred. Is there a way to make them 'ragged bottom' instead of 'ragged top'? – LambdaBeta May 11 '14 at 18:35
@LambdaBeta use vtop instead of vbox (or far more simply, use a format designed for making documents such as latex or context) – David Carlisle May 11 '14 at 19:19
Thank you very much. As for LaTeX and ConTeXt, I am not a big fan of them. I tend to prefer control over ease of use every time. (its the same reason I prefer C++ over Python and Assembly over C++) – LambdaBeta May 11 '14 at 20:06

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