# [NTG-context] the same old \column problem

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Thu Nov 23 10:59:15 CET 2006

```Henning Hraban Ramm wrote:
> Am 2006-11-15 um 22:36 schrieb Hans Hagen:
>
>>> Without the \column, it works only for longer paragraphs,
>>> but e.g. not with \startlines - I'm trying to typeset lyrics,
>>> and the column *always* breaks within a verse instead of between,
>>> even if all the verses have the same number of lines, so that
>>> it would be easily possible to balance cleanly.
>>>
>> this \column is kind of tricky; balancing works best when grid is
>> enabled; you can try to add \crlf's to influence column split a bit
>>
>
> Ok, but without \column, it should balance the columns if possible,
> right?
> My main problem at the moment (see above) are columns in "lines"
> mode, for lyrics.
> It worked once, but it broke some betas (3 months?) before.
>
> Luckily my songbook doesn't need to be complete until christmas (I
> planned so, but we don't get the reprint permissions in time).
>
> I like to boast how great a tool TeX and especially ConTeXt are, but
> everytime I try to do some real work with it, I run into "unsolvable"
> problems (or unstable code) like this...
> :-(
>
this is because columns are not natural to tex so any solution is a compromize and side effects are hard to predict; in luatex we will have more control cq. info available to make decisions.

esp \columns is a problem because it interferes with grid stuff and such; columnsets are then a better solution

of the poems are one page max, streams may be a solution (they are independent pages that can be put on the main stream

Hans

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