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How do I force TeX to completely use the 1st column before writing to the second column?

Right now I dont have enough content to fill one whole page. So the left and right columns are equally filled, leaving 25% symmetrical empty page at bottom. How do I fill the left column first, and then the right?

\documentclass{article} 
\usepackage{multicol}
\usepackage[scale=0.9]{geometry}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{\tiny$\blacksquare$}
\begin{document}
\begin{multicols}{2}    

%lots of text goes here

\end{multicols}
\end{document}
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11  
See documentation of multicol, section 2.2 Not balancing the columns. –  Ulrike Fischer Apr 28 '12 at 15:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Use the starred variant of the multicols environment:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article} 
\usepackage{multicol}% http://ctan.org/pkg/multicol
\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
\usepackage[scale=0.9]{geometry}% http://ctan.org/pkg/geometry
\begin{document}
\begin{multicols*}{2}    
\lipsum[1-6]
\end{multicols*}
\end{document}
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As mentioned by Ulrike and Werner the way to stop multicols from balancing is to use the multicols* environment instead. But from the form of your question and your MWE I wonder if a simpler answer may not be: do not use multicols at all.

After all

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}

or

\twocolumn[Some single column material] ...

will also get you two columns which aren't balanced and additionally work with floats in a more general fashion.

Basically you need to use multicol if you want one or more of these:

  • balance columns (at least sometimes)
  • switch between different column layouts on a single page (requires balancing obviously)
  • use more than 2 columns on a page
  • pagewide footnotes below the columns

But it comes at a price so if nothing of the above is what you are interested in then maybe you should simply remove the multicol package.

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