Is it possible to specify different column widths in a multicol environment? For example, in a two column layout, can the left column be set to twice the width of the right column?

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    No, as in most TeX column/page breaking the text is first set into an (essentially) infinite scroll and only later that scroll is chopped in to columns of the right length, there is no feedback from the column/page splitting to the line breaking. – David Carlisle Jan 7 '13 at 13:03
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    if you do not need a pagebreak than you can use a tabularx. – user2478 Jan 7 '13 at 13:18
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    Possibly the flowfram package is what you're looking for. – egreg Jan 7 '13 at 13:33
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    If all else fails, I can add this as an option to the pullquote package ;-) – Stephan Lehmke Jan 7 '13 at 13:42

For a single page the package vwcol (vari­able-width mul­ti­ple text columns) make is what you're looking for.

 sep=.8cm, justify=flush,rule=0pt,indent=1em] 


For multiple pages the suggested flowfram package can help, but mostly with columns (frames) of different heights and places but the same width. Unfortunately the width of a paragraph cannot be changed when jump to a column of different width (the change in \hsize will not come into effect until the end of the paragraph), so it must be simulate a paragraph break with \framebreak or specified the exact point where the text paragraphs jump to the next column (with \newpage or pagebrak[4] or \finishthispage in the last column).

In the next example, the capture show when the first \newpage is commented to explain the problem (otherwise the output is roughly similar to the first example, but the columns are not balanced in this case).







Another option is paracol. It can make columns of different widths using \columnratio in multiple pages, but switch of the column is always your work. This mean that if the text reach the end of some column, continues in the next page in the same column, not in the next right column:

\lipsum[1] \switchcolumn \color{red} 
\lipsum[3] \switchcolumn \color{blue}
\lipsum[4] \switchcolumn \color{green}
\lipsum[5] \switchcolumn \color{green}
\lipsum[6] \switchcolumn \color{magenta} % flow to the next page
\lipsum[7] \switchcolumn \color{black} % flow to the next page
  • Is there a way to get the vwcol environment working with Beamer documents? – Luís de Sousa Apr 17 '16 at 16:00
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    @LuísdeSousa It work, but the beamer class provide the columns environment, so I do not see the benefit of use wvcol in presentations. – Fran Apr 18 '16 at 3:11
  • I tried again wvcol and it is ignored by the compiler. But the columns environment works perfectly, thanks. – Luís de Sousa Apr 18 '16 at 9:25
  • Does vwcol support absolute width assignment(e.g. 4cm, 5cm for two columns)? – Eric Apr 3 '17 at 6:36
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    How can I tell vwcol where to break the columns? – RobertP. Oct 7 '17 at 2:34

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