1

According to https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/24563/ using \setlength{\columnsep}{<width>} one can change the width of the space between the two column.

I have two related questions:

(1) How can I obtain the original width of \columnsep?

(2) How can I tell latex to multiply the original width by 2 or another number?

3

(1) To obtain the old value after changing it you must store it somewhere (before changing it). (2) You can use 2\columnsep to multiply with 2.

Example code:

\documentclass[twocolumn]{article}
\usepackage{lipsum}
%%%%
\newlength\oldcolumnsep
\setlength{\oldcolumnsep}{\columnsep}
\setlength{\columnsep}{2\columnsep}
%%%%
\begin{document}
\noindent
\verb|\columnsep:| \the\columnsep\newline
\verb|\oldcolumnsep:| \the\oldcolumnsep\newline

\lipsum[1-5]
\end{document}

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