Beamer's weird column defaults

From time to time I encounter a problem with LaTeX or Beamer that costs twice as much time to solve than what I save by using LaTeX. Here is a reminder for me to fix a particularly strange behaviour with Beamer’s columns environment.

The columns environment is used to split content horizontally in (you guessed it) several columns. Intuitively, you’d write something like this


  \frametitle{Slide with columns}
        First column

        Second column

  Conclusive text

and expect the columns to be aligned nicely with the adjacent text. But for whatever reason, that’s not the case by default:

To fix this, you have to pass the onlytextwidth option to the environment


and you are good to go:

I don’t know if this happens only with TeX Live 2009, but it is certainly annoying …