double column printing [including single and triple columns] ☜☞ impresión a dos columnas [incluidas a una y a tres columnas]

This entry includes: single columns, triple columns

Double columns were the norm in the printing of sueltas, for this reason we have omitted mention of “Text printed in double columns.” However, in special circumstances, some sueltas were printed in three columns or just one. 

Occurrences of single column and triple columns need commenting. Playwrights used a great variety of verses in the composing of these plays, most of sufficiently few syllables so two columns could be set side by side. Printers, however, had to set text in a single column when the verses were silvas, octavas, or sonnets. A silva mixes 7-syllable lines with 11-syllable, the others are 11 syllables, widths that a page could not accommodate in double columns.

Triple columns, on the other hand, were a matter of the printer either wanting to save paper on purpose, or miscalculating in casting off and therefore running out of space. Miscalculations could easily happen, when under time pressure, two printers were working simultaneously on two separate presses, using two separate type cases in the same or different print shops.

It is more likely to see triple columns towards the end of the plays than at the beginning, and this could occur on a single page, an entire gathering, or anything in between. In many cases, the printer had to use smaller type to accommodate three columns in a page.

See also: imposition
  • This edition from the Imprenta Real del Correo Viejo (Seville) is an example of text printed in double and triple columns on facing pages.

    No hay contra un padre razón

    [Private collection SzT]

double column printing [including single and triple columns]
double column printing [including single and triple columns]