I am writing a book in twocolumn format. Section headers appear in their respective column, and for most of the book, that is fine for me.

But for a specific chapter of the book, I would prefer the section header to span both columns. Only the section header, not the subsection headers, and only in that specific chapter of the book.

Is there a way to achieve this?

  • multicol package may help you. – xport Jul 22 '11 at 7:58
  • @xport: I've read about the multicol package, and that it is more flexible in this way, but I also read that the multicol environment isn't really meant to render a whole document in columns. The book is somewhat extensive / complex... are you serious about that suggestion? (Best make it an answer so I could vote for it...) – DevSolar Jul 22 '11 at 8:00
  • How to force column break in multicol answer may help you too. Don't forget to up vote if you are satisfied with it. :-) – xport Jul 22 '11 at 8:01
  • I cannot repost my answer because a link is NOT regarded as an answer by SE/SO policy, so I put in comments. :-) – xport Jul 22 '11 at 8:03
  • You can use multicols environment as many as you want in the document. – xport Jul 22 '11 at 8:10

if it starts on a new page use the optional argument of \twocolumn

\twocolumn[\section{I can find a tool to convert PDF to 
  EPS in my neither bathroom nor kitchen}]



  • Excellent! This is what I've been looking for (but obviously not hard enough). – DevSolar Jul 22 '11 at 8:38
  • @Dev: Are you sure that each section in your document starts on a new page? :-) – xport Jul 22 '11 at 9:00
  • @xport: No, but all of them that I need to stretch across columns. ;-) Besides, I've been doing some testing of your multicol suggestion, and it somewhat messes up my column layout. Herbert's suggestion worked perfectly right out-of-the-box. Sorry. ;-) – DevSolar Jul 22 '11 at 9:04

Herbert's answer with \twocolumn[...] makes each section starts on a new page. If you don't like this behavior, then use multicol package that is very flexible.

enter image description here

\title{Introduction to \LaTeX}
\section{I can find a tool to convert PDF to EPS in my neither bathroom nor kitchen. Normal mode.}

\section{Jesus is the absolute expression of perfection. With column break.}

\section{Jesus is the absolute expression of perfection. Filling from left to right column.}



  1. Use \raggedcolumns globally in the preamble if you don't want the bottom baselines of all columns to be aligned. The default is \flushcolumns, so TEX will normally try to make both the top and bottom baselines of all columns align.
  • 1
    I just scared my coworkers with a guffaw when I realized there's actually a package for lorem ipsum... :-D – DevSolar Jul 22 '11 at 8:30
  • Try load blindtext package and use \blindtext or Blinddocument in your body. – xport Jul 22 '11 at 8:35

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