# Problem drawing horizontal line above two columns, line runs through column

I'm somewhat of a beginner in LateX. I want to draw a horizontal line below my abstract to clearly separate it from the rest of the two-column text. When I do so however, the left column starts below the line, as it should, but the right column doesn't start low enough and the line runs right through it. I've looked around stackexchange but cannot seem to find an answer. How do I make the second column appear lower?

Minimal reproducible example below:

\documentclass[twocolumn]{report}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}

\noindent\makebox[\textwidth]{\rule{\textwidth}{0.4pt}}

\section{Introduction}
\lipsum[2-6]

\end{document}

• @marmot that's just a long way of writing \noindent\rule{\columnwidth}{0.4pt‌​} the makebox isn't doing anything. – David Carlisle Jan 25 '18 at 17:38
• @DavidCarlisle You're right. – user121799 Jan 25 '18 at 17:40
• @marmot when I use columnwidth, the line appears only above the first column (I tried this with linewidth too). I want the line to be as long as both columns. – vickypollard Jan 25 '18 at 17:41

This could quite well be an overkill.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{report}
\usepackage{cuted}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}
\begin{strip}
\noindent\rule{\textwidth}{0.4pt}
\end{strip}
\section{Introduction}
\lipsum[2-6]

\end{document}


• thank you, this works perfectly. i hadn't heard of the cuted package before but it seems it was just what i was looking for. – vickypollard Jan 25 '18 at 18:06

The optional argument fur \rule raises it above the baseline. The length \topskip is the distance from the top of a column to the first baseline. Macro \rlap (right overlap) takes up no horizontal space. In fact, it can execute in vmode, so no \noindent is needed.

\documentclass[twocolumn]{report}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\begin{document}

\rlap{\rule[\topskip]{\textwidth}{0.4pt}}%

\section{Introduction}
\lipsum[2-6]

\end{document}