How do I force TeX to completely use the 1st column before writing to the second column?

Right now I dont have enough content to fill one whole page. So the left and right columns are equally filled, leaving 25% symmetrical empty page at bottom. How do I fill the left column first, and then the right?


%lots of text goes here

  • 11
    See documentation of multicol, section 2.2 Not balancing the columns. Apr 28, 2012 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


Use the starred variant of the multicols environment:

enter image description here

\usepackage{multicol}% http://ctan.org/pkg/multicol
\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
\usepackage[scale=0.9]{geometry}% http://ctan.org/pkg/geometry

As mentioned by Ulrike and Werner the way to stop multicols from balancing is to use the multicols* environment instead. But from the form of your question and your MWE I wonder if a simpler answer may not be: do not use multicols at all.

After all



\twocolumn[Some single column material] ...

will also get you two columns which aren't balanced and additionally work with floats in a more general fashion.

Basically you need to use multicol if you want one or more of these:

  • balance columns (at least sometimes)
  • switch between different column layouts on a single page (requires balancing obviously)
  • use more than 2 columns on a page
  • pagewide footnotes below the columns

But it comes at a price so if nothing of the above is what you are interested in then maybe you should simply remove the multicol package.

  • multicol is also useful to draw a vertical line between the columns. multicol can also draw the vertical line with a specified color and thickness.
    – Andre
    Sep 13, 2018 at 13:50

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