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We digitize and reproduce old German bible texts as free software. From XML, we are automatically generating LaTeX output to then generate PDF. One of our current implementations is using the multicol package in combination with bigfoot and perpage. The observation is that in documents with multiple multicols environments there is a chance that lines get moved to the next page (leaving some empty space on the previous page), even if there are manual \pagebreak{}s inserted.

I tried to apply some of the solutions mentioned in the documentation of multicol, but for instance \setcounter{collectmore}{X} seems to have no effect. Is there any problem or solution known? I can't provide a minimal example, because the issue is reproducable only as result of larger multicol environments following each other. The effect doesn't appear if I remove the multicol before it. However, I would be glad to provide the entire source file. So, any ideas?

Edit: I now made a screenshot of the result:

multicol lines to next page.

There is a manual \pagebreak{} at the line Mensch Christus\pagebreak{} Jesus,, which just has no effect. This multicol environment is the 3rd, if I remove one of the two previous multicol environments (doesn't matter which one), the two empty lines wound disappear.

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Welcome to TeX.SX. A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces, then they're marked as a code sample. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button ({}). Note that you don't have to sign with your name since it automatically appears in the lower right corner of your post. –  Claudio Fiandrino Dec 27 '12 at 10:56
I have some experience with multicolumn typesetting, and I prefer standard LaTeX twocolumn over multicol. The former one former one has problems with balancing the last page, the latter one has problems float placement and page breaking. You have to choose which you prefer. Let's hope that xor is finisned soon. –  tohecz Jan 5 '13 at 11:10
Thanks for the hint, I now tried twocolumn a little, but at some occations it seems to have the very same problem, where it looks at all more solid and predictable. I may open a similar question on StackExchange, but then for twocolumn and with minimal example. –  skreutzer Feb 7 '13 at 20:29
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closed as too localized by lockstep, Marco Daniel, Stefan Kottwitz Feb 16 '13 at 12:39

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1 Answer

Your image appears to show that \pagebreak has had the effect of forcing a page break after the line on which it is used which is the intended behaviour. \pagebreak never affects line breaking so it does not force a break between the words at the point it is entered in the source.

Given only the fragments of information it is hard to offer advice although I note multicolumns also has a \columnbreak command.

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Your observations are correct, but according to the multicol package documentation I set the \pagebreak{} to get the two lines of the second page onto the first page, where there seems no way at all to get this done. As I understand the documentation, manual \pagebreak{}s give multicol a hint where it should collect more lines in opposition to the internally calculated positions for page breaking. I wish I could provide more information or a minimal example, but if the document isn't pretty large, the described manual method of \pagebreak{}ing works. –  skreutzer Feb 7 '13 at 20:27
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