# Spanning multiple beamer columns

How does one have something (say a figure) span multiple columns when using the beamer columns environment?

Nathaniel Johnston's beamer poster template does this by nesting two columns environments, but this fails for me--somehow the column widths get messed up and things run off the page.

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As far as I know, the only possibility is to interrupt the columns environment, include the wider material end then start a new columns environment (in fact, that's what the author of the poster you linked to does):

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}

\begin{frame}
\begin{columns}[t,totalwidth=\textwidth]
\column{.5\linewidth}
Some material for the first column goes here
\column{.5\linewidth}
Some material for the second column goes here
\end{columns}
\vfill
\includegraphics[width=\textwidth,height=1cm]{cat}
\vfill
\begin{columns}[t,totalwidth=\textwidth]
\column{.5\linewidth}
Some material for the first column goes here
\column{.5\linewidth}
Some material for the second column goes here
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


And here's the code showing one possible approach to have an image spanning two out of three columns. The idea is to have one outer columns environment of width, for example, \textwidth; inside this environment two columns are created; one of them twice as wide as the other one; inside the wider column, the idea from the previous example is used: an inner columns environment is used to produce two columns of equal width; this inner columns environment is then ended to include the image spanning two columns, and finally another inner columns environment is used to hold the final two columns.

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\begin{document}

\begin{frame}
\begin{columns}[t,totalwidth=\textwidth]
\column{.32\textwidth}
Some material for the first column goes here. Some material for the first column goes here.
Some material for the first column goes here. Some material for the first column goes here.
\hfill
\column{.65\textwidth}
\vspace*{-\baselineskip}
\begin{columns}[t,totalwidth=\textwidth]
\column{.48\textwidth}
Some material for the second column goes here.
\column{.48\textwidth}
Some material for the third column goes here.
\end{columns}
\includegraphics[width=\textwidth,height=2cm]{cat}
\begin{columns}[t,totalwidth=\textwidth]
\column{.48\textwidth}
Some material for the second column goes here.
\column{.48\textwidth}
Some material for the third column goes here.
\end{columns}
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


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Hmm... I may have totally misread what he did. Off to check. –  hoyland Jul 20 '12 at 18:59
Yeah, that's not actually what he does. He genuinely nests the column environments. I can't see how to make your example work if you want to span, say, two of the three columns. –  hoyland Jul 20 '12 at 19:05
@hoyland as I see, what the author does is to create a column of double width; then, inside this column he uses single width columns for the text, finishes the single width columns, typesets the wider material and starts again with single width columns. I do not understand what you mean with "two of the three columns". –  Gonzalo Medina Jul 20 '12 at 19:08
Sorry. That only made sense in my head. I've been trying to modify his template to have three columns, rather than four. So I've been trying one single width column, then a double width column which splits into two single columns (rather than triple into three single columns). I suspect in the interests of time, this may become a two column poster. –  hoyland Jul 20 '12 at 19:13
@hoyland I've updated my answer. Is it something like that what you have in mind? –  Gonzalo Medina Jul 20 '12 at 20:04