# Problems aligning left and right columns in paracol

In the \paracol environment, I want the left and right column pairs to align at the top with each other. Hopefully the figure below will clarify what I want. There are three pairs of red and blue lines. The first pair is perfectly aligned at the top, but the second and third pairs are off.

MWE:

\documentclass{book}

\usepackage{microtype}
\usepackage[
paperwidth=6in,
paperheight=9in,
inner=0.6in,
outer=0.6in,
bindingoffset=0.15in,
top=0.6in,
bottom=0.6in,
twoside]{geometry}
\usepackage{expex}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{paracol}
\twosided[pc]
\usepackage{expex}
%\usepackage{polyglossia}% removed if you want to compile in PDFLaTex instead of XeLaTex
%\setdefaultlanguage{english}% removed if you want to compile in PDFLaTex instead of XeLaTex
%\newfontfamily\englishfont{Corbel}% removed if you want to compile in PDFLaTex instead of XeLaTex

\lingset{
everygla=\Large,
everyglb=\footnotesize,
everyglc=\footnotesize,
glwordalign=center,
glhangindent=0em,
glrightskip=0pt,
glspace=0.5em plus 3em minus 0.15em,
}

\begin{document}

\columnratio{0.75}
\setlength{\columnsep}{1.5em}

\begin{paracol}{2}
\begin{leftcolumn}
\begingl[glhangstyle=none]
\gla This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glb This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glc This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\endgl
\end{leftcolumn}
\begin{rightcolumn}\noindent\footnotesize
Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column.
\end{rightcolumn}
\end{paracol}

\begin{paracol}{2}
\begin{leftcolumn}
\begingl[glhangstyle=none]
\gla And this is even more filler for the second paragraph And this is even more filler for the second paragraph //
\glb And this is even more filler for the second paragraph And this is even more filler for the second paragraph //
\glc And this is even more filler for the second paragraph And this is even more filler for the second paragraph //
\endgl
\end{leftcolumn}
\begin{rightcolumn}\noindent\footnotesize
Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2.
\end{rightcolumn}
\end{paracol}

\begin{paracol}{2}
\begin{leftcolumn}
\begingl[glhangstyle=none]
\gla This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glb This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glc This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\endgl
\end{leftcolumn}
\begin{rightcolumn}\noindent\footnotesize
\lipsum[1]
\end{rightcolumn}
\end{paracol}

\end{document}


EDIT: commented out polyglossia and fonts if you want to compile in PDFLaTex instead of XeLaTex.

• You might want to show that the problem is still there if you have one big paracol environment and use the leftcolumn* environment. It's not quite as bad overall, but still not what you want, especially at the top. – Jason Zentz Mar 7 '17 at 15:29
• Also, taking out polyglossia and the font specifications will allow people to compile this in pdflatex, which is faster and is many answerer's default. The alignment issue isn't due to polyglossia/fontspec/xelatex etc. – Jason Zentz Mar 7 '17 at 15:30
• I tried your first suggestion with one big paracol and changing all leftcolumn to leftcolumn*. It slightly changed the alignment, but not to what I want. – AML Mar 7 '17 at 15:33
• Note: I think this Q&A might be relevant here, but I'm not sure how. – AML Mar 7 '17 at 15:51

Actually, the first line isn't perfectly aligned either, since \topskip=10pt isn't quite big enough for the left column. I had better luck adding a strut to the first line of each column. All that matters is that it is big enough and the same size in both columns.

There is an additional problem at the bottom of the page due to stretch (sudden jumps as the strut size increased). This was solved using \raggedbottom.

\documentclass{book}

\usepackage{microtype}
\usepackage[
paperwidth=6in,
paperheight=9in,
inner=0.6in,
outer=0.6in,
bindingoffset=0.15in,
top=0.6in,
bottom=0.6in,
twoside]{geometry}
\usepackage{expex}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage{paracol}
\twosided[pc]
\usepackage{expex}
\usepackage{polyglossia}
\setdefaultlanguage{english}
\newfontfamily\englishfont{Corbel}

\lingset{
everygla=\Large,
everyglb=\footnotesize,
everyglc=\footnotesize,
glwordalign=center,
glhangindent=0em,
glrightskip=0pt,
glspace=0.5em plus 3em minus 0.15em,
}

\columnratio{0.75}
\setlength{\columnsep}{1.5em}

\newcommand{\mystrut}{\rule{0pt}{12pt}}

\begin{document}

\begin{paracol}{2}
\begin{leftcolumn}
\begingl[glhangstyle=none]
\gla \mystrut This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glb This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glc This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\endgl
\end{leftcolumn}
\begin{rightcolumn}\noindent\footnotesize\mystrut
Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column. Here is some text for the skinny column.
\end{rightcolumn}
\end{paracol}

\begin{paracol}{2}
\begin{leftcolumn}
\begingl[glhangstyle=none]
\gla \mystrut And this is even more filler for the second paragraph And this is even more filler for the second paragraph //
\glb And this is even more filler for the second paragraph And this is even more filler for the second paragraph //
\glc And this is even more filler for the second paragraph And this is even more filler for the second paragraph //
\endgl
\end{leftcolumn}
\begin{rightcolumn}\noindent\footnotesize\mystrut
Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2. Here is some text for skinny column2.
\end{rightcolumn}
\end{paracol}

\begin{paracol}{2}
\begin{leftcolumn}
\begingl[glhangstyle=none]
\gla \mystrut This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glb This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\glc This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum This is some text to take up space and I didn't want to use Lipsum //
\endgl
\end{leftcolumn}
\begin{rightcolumn}\raggedbottom\footnotesize\noindent\mystrut
\lipsum[1]
\end{rightcolumn}
\end{paracol}

\end{document}