Columns on WordPress posts

Last night, as I was writing one of the posts for my blogging tutorial series, I wanted a way to get columns working in a post. Newspaper style, or magazine style some may call it. I thought it would be really cool if I could wrap content around short tags that would automatically make columns. I even thought of the short tag notation, options available how to use it and all that fun stuff. I went to sleep thinking I would ask my buddy Steve to help me write it or point me in the write direction on how this might be accomplished, if he didn't know I was going to check out Scriptlance to see if someobdy wanted to make it for me.

Silly me... this for one, isn't trivial, and when I came to my senses this morning I decided to just look for a plugin that would do what I wanted. I expected some plugins to be available but I didn't think that they would be very simple to use or even work well with other plugins. Lucky for me, I found the right plugin on my first search with "columns wordpress plugin" in google. The plugin is called: WP Post Columns. It basically does everything I thought about last night and it seems to do it well. Take a look at this example of a poem I really like, I've split it into two columns with this plugin.

The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.
[column width padding="2%"]
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
[/column]
[column width padding="2%"]
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.
[/column]
[end_columns]

The plugin is not in the official WordPress repository but its very easy to install, just the standard stuff, download, unzip, upload, activate. Or you can try using the uploader function in your WordPress plugin administration console.

The plugin works right out of the box and has no configuration options right now, the author says its because the plugin is beta but I don't know if it needs configuration options. I think if its smart enough. The plugin can be found here.