LaTeX Sections


Sections in LaTeX are generated using the following commands that are defined in the native article document class:

  • Level 1: \section

  • Level 2: \subsection

  • Level 3: \subsubsection

  • Level 4: \paragraph

  • Level 5: \subparagraph

Section Depth Guidelines

Why are there only five levels? Modern document standards generally agree that five levels should be sufficient for any sort of technical report. Writers that think they need more than five levels should instead consider restructuring their document in a manner that does not require this level of nested sectioning. Increased section granularity can actually begin to detract from document clarity.

If possible, it is a general guideline to aim to only utilize three levels: \section, \subsection, \subsubsection. Extend to a fourth level, \paragraph, if you truly believe your document readability can be improved by having more granularity. The fifth level, \subparagraph, should be used sparingly if at all.

Referencing Sections

Section labels are generated using the \label command and can then be referenced using \ref.

\section{Example Section}

\ref{sec:example-section} is an example of \texttt{section}.

Referencing Range of Sections

The example below highlights how the \refrange command can be used to reference a range of sections.

All of the section examples are found in \refrange{sec:example-section}{sec:example-subparagraph}.

Sample Code and Output

The following snippet produces the output seen below. Please note that the format of the section headings depends on the chosen template. Each template has a specified header formatting to meet the guidelines associated with that template, e.g. aiaa-journal will match the AIAA journal format guidelines.

\section{Example Section}

\ref{sec:example-section} is an example of \texttt{section}.

\subsection{Example Sub-Section}

\ref{sec:example-subsection} is an example of \texttt{subsection}.

\subsubsection{Example Sub-Sub-Section}

\ref{sec:example-subsubsection} is an example of \texttt{subsubsection}.

\paragraph{Example Paragraph}

\ref{sec:example-paragraph} is an example of \texttt{paragraph}.

\subparagraph{Example Sub-Paragraph}

\ref{sec:example-subparagraph} is an example of \texttt{subparagraph}.


All of the section examples are found in \refrange{sec:example-section}{sec:example-subparagraph}.