I would like to have

  1. colored vertical rules separating columns in the vwcol package and

  2. some method of referring to the current column width in the vwcol package.

We show a vwcol example and then extend it with these two features using multicol package. Is there some way of achieving them in vwcol? (This post inspired some of the code below and may be of some relevance to the second point although that post deals with the tabu package and not with vwcol.)



Seems ok but does not have a couple of features we would like:

Here is an example using multicol that illustrates two things we
would like to add: (1) set color of vertical rule and (2) some
counterpart to \verb|\columnwidth|.  Using \verb|.45\textwidth| as we 
do above with vwcol is not ideal since it effectively means specifying 
width information twice.


Is this possible with vwcol as it stands now?


EDIT: Added the output shown below.

Here is what the output from the above latex code looks like:

enter image description here

Creative commons info on elephant image is available here.

1 Answer 1


I'm in a rush so can't answer in much detail. Having coloured rules is easy; just find in the code where it uses \vrule and surround it with some \color commands. Remind me again about this and I'll try to add it at some point :).

Your second question is more difficult. I believe the answer is ‘no’ — it's not possible to know how wide the current line is, because while TeX is typesetting the content it has not yet broken the paragraph into lines.

Note that the way vwcol works is pushing the limits of what TeX can easily achieve in terms of its hyphenation/justification routine; it won't like much more than just text in terms of what can be inserted into the environment. Unlike multicols which is a generally robust solution.

  • I assume when you write "find in the code" that code refers to the code in the vwcol package and not my code since there are no occurrences of \vrule in the code I posted. If that is what is meant then is there some way of performing this modification without creating a custom version of the package? Jul 15, 2012 at 13:08
  • Will the package be updated at some point? That'd be aewsome!
    – user857990
    Feb 3, 2015 at 13:18
  • 1
    Apologies for the delay. I forgot to upload it to CTAN a few years back :) On its way now! Feb 10, 2015 at 11:44
  • Hello, I have these error trying to use colored rules with your package. ! Package xkeyval Error: rulecolor' undefined in families vwcol'. I will try to update your package with Miktex/CTAN :) I have the 2008-06-26 20:14:25 version of your package which is v0.1 so I will try an update :) Feb 16, 2016 at 10:11

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