I want to write double column document and I used this command \documentclass[twoside]{article} but it is not working, I do not know what is wrong and why it is disabled.

  • 13
    Replace twoside with twocolumn. twoside is for printing front and back of pages.
    – Runar
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 13:56
  • 2
    You could also, in your document, write \twocolumn or \onecolumn to switch. Or you could use multicols(?) -package, which balances columns very nicely.
    – Runar
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 13:59
  • Is it possible to have this defined in a style file?
    – Vass
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 3:22

1 Answer 1


The twoside option is not about placing text in a multicolumn fashion. While oneside is typical for articles and reports, the twoside option is loaded when you want to have a double-sided document, allowing you to set the margins, asymmetrically, in order to bind the document as a book.

If you want to place text in multiple columns, you can:

  • add the twocolumn option to your document class.
  • add \twocolumn before the text you want to split into two columns. Later you can add \onecolumn to get back to the standard one column.
  • load the multicol package, and then enclose the text you want in two (or more) columns within its environment, like \begin{multicols}{#}...\end{multicols}. You don't need to specify one column after this. The # symbolizes the number of columns the text will split into.

Note that you can combine some of these. Adding the twocolumn class option and using the multicols environment, will cause the text inside the latter to appear in the first half (left) of the page.

  • 7
    Use \columnbreak to mark new column start when using multicols solution.
    – scrutari
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 10:55
  • 2
    +1 In my case, I chose the multicol environment because the \twocolum command created a page break :\. Is this always so, or can we prevent the page brake?. By the way with \setlength{\columnsep}{<your length here>} you control the space between columns in multicol see answer here. Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 11:46

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