# How can I balance the last two columns of ACM SIGPLAN article?

I need to balance the heights of the last two columns of my ACM article that is typeset using sigplanconf.cls. This class file defines the following command:

``````\newcommand{\balancecolumns}{%
\vfill\eject
\global\@colht = \textheight
\global\ht\@cclv = \textheight}
``````

However, the above `\balancecolumns` command didn't work for me. I also tried the solutions proposed in response to similar questions: How to balance last page of two-column layout in LaTeX?, Uneven text distribution with 2-column layout, and http://stackoverflow.com/q/2149854/130224. Specifically, I tried the flushend, balance, and multicol pacakges. But, none of these packages could automatically balance the last two columns of my bibliography section.

I managed to manually break the list of references using the command `\vfill\eject`. But, this solution required manipulating the generated bbl file. I'd prefer an automatic solution that doesn't require changing a generated file.

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With the `balance` package the output is correct.
One must issue `\balance` between two paragraphs that fall in the first column of the final page. This might need to insert it manually in the `.bbl` file, if the last page consists only of bibliography items.
Thanks for the tip. I didn't try the `\balance` in the bbl file. Anyways, I'd rather not to modify the bbl file. So, I still wonder if there is a cleaner solution that doesn't require manipulating the bbl file. –  reprogrammer Dec 15 '11 at 22:39
Assuming the etoolbox package is available, would `\AtBeginEnvironment{thebibliography}{\balance}` do the trick? –  Mike Renfro Dec 16 '11 at 0:53
@MikeRenfro No, looking at the documentation of `balance`: the `\balance` command should be put between two paragraphs in the first column of the last page. –  egreg Dec 16 '11 at 11:24