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I know it is possible to make two columns, and to make two tables. I am wanting to know if it is possible to create two columns that aren't connected/flowing into each other. If one column is longer than the other, I don't want the text to flow from one to another?

Basically I am trying to work out a way to make a macro that inserts quotes in a document, but also supports two languages. (i.e. put a translation next to the quote), for example:

This is some sample text. Here is the quote:

   Language one says    Language two says
   this and it is       this and not many
   interesting.         can read it. 

Furthermore, etc...

Like I said, I know that this could be done with a table, and I know that we can create general columns, but I don't know where to start to achieve this.

  • Have you tried simple minipages? – TeXnician Sep 19 '18 at 6:16
  • 3
    paracol package was designed for this. – Ignasi Sep 19 '18 at 6:21
  • 1
    Your right, it appears paracol was literally designed for exactly this, but I can't vote comments as the right answer. 😄 – Jay Sep 19 '18 at 6:45
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You can define a command to set the two language samples inside a tabularx:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{tabularx,lipsum}

\newcommand{\twolang}[2]{%
  \par\smallskip
  \noindent
  \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{ @{\hspace{15pt}} X X @{\hspace{15pt}} }
    #1 % First language (adjust formatting as needed)
    &
    #2 % Second language (adjust formatting as needed)
  \end{tabularx}
  \par\smallskip
}

\begin{document}

\sloppy % Just for this example
\lipsum[1]

\twolang{%
  \lipsum*[2]
}{%
  \lipsum*[3]
}

\lipsum[4]

\end{document}

It would also be possible to rewrite this into environment, if that's more convenient.

Note that these quotes won't be able to break across a page boundary.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    If page-breaking is desired one could use longtable or a similar package instead... – Raven Sep 19 '18 at 6:18
  • 3
    @Raven: longtable would only break at a paragraph, not mid-paragraph. For mid-paragraph breaking one should consider paracol, parallel or parcolumns. – Werner Sep 19 '18 at 6:27

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