# 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