# Space before section titles with twocolumns and sections that cross both columns

I'm writing a document in twocolumn mode, but I am starting pages with sections with some long titles that I'm trying to spread over both columns. The vertical space before subsequent section titles seems to be reduced compared to normal.

The following example illustrates what is happening.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}

\begin{document}

\twocolumn[\section{A very very very very very long title}]

The paragraph is then followed by somewhat reduced space before:

\subsection{The subsection}

aaaa

\end{document}


(Compare with the vertical space before the \subsection if I replace the line beginning \twocolumn with a simple \section{Short title}.)

What is the correct way to attempt to do what I'm doing? I wasn't sure whether the multicol package would help - since I wanted the twocolumn setup to cover the whole document, it didn't quite feel right structurally to have twocolumn environments sprinkled liberally throughout the document.

(Finally, I'm using (pdf)LaTeX, so please no LuaLaTeX or XeTeX answers please! :-) )

• Each \twocolumn command starts a new page; are you sure you want it? Oct 2, 2013 at 7:18
• The extra-wide section title will only occur at the top of a page, so in this case, yes I think I do want a new page. (In my real example, I've got a different command instead of the \twocolumn[\section{...}] bit, but the above is a minimal example illustrating my issue.) Oct 2, 2013 at 7:29

## 1 Answer

\twocolumn is not supposed to work like this. However, the problem is that \if@nobreak is not reset correctly. Add it explicitly.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\makeatletter
\newcommand\resetnobreak{\@nobreakfalse}
\begin{document}

\twocolumn[\section{A very very very very very long title}\resetnobreak]

The space after this paragraph will be regular. \lipsum[2]

\subsection{The subsection}

\lipsum

\end{document}


• Thanks for the fix. That works nicely. By "\twocolumn is not supposed to work like this", do you mean that this is a bug? Or that I am using it incorrectly? Oct 2, 2013 at 8:58
• @MartynQuick Neither. ;-) I'd call it "a feature". Possibly \if@nobreak should be reset to false, but this might break in presence of pending two column floats. Oct 2, 2013 at 10:54