[tex-eplain] double column miseries.

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Thu Aug 19 00:20:23 CEST 2004

I had a book to set where each chapter ended with a "Terms and 
Concepts"  page or two.  the layout was double column. I treated each 
entry as a separate paragraph. Some of the longer phrases occupied 
two lines. I started each such table with a macro:

    \hfil\bf Chapter #1: Terms and Concepts\hfil\rm\endgraf 
....and ended each with a macro:    
the columns were full of \Idx, \sidx statements and my own creation:

---which allowed the item to have initial caps in the column but all 
lower case in the index.

Trouble is or was, I f a single item on the right hand side required a 
second line, then the right hand column came up longer than the left.
Somehow I managed to confuse the column balancing act. And sometimes I 
got twice the expected space after a long entry, requiring an 
insertion of a \vskip -12pt to take up the extra space. 

The columnfill command yielded strange results so I relied on the 
Eplain \singlecolumn statement to balance the columns. When that 
didn't work I just put in a big \vskip where I wanted the break to 

Perhaps my whole approach to such a listing was faulty. Indeed on 
certain chapters I junked the whole thing and set up a table with two 
columns a la _The TeXbook_

All comments on my (mis)use of the Eplain column making facility are 

John Culleton

John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters

Short list of publishing/marketing books:

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