[OS X TeX] aligning section titles of different levels below each other

Sergei Mariev sergei.mariev at lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Wed Feb 14 05:46:29 EST 2007

Dear all,

about a year ago I asked a question  on how to change the distance  
between the section number and the section title, and received many  
useful replies. I am posting the reply from Bruno Voisin at the very  
end of my email here (thanks again!) as it summarizes the answers in  
the best way .

However, my problem is slightly different now. I am trying to achieve  
the following: suppose you have two different levels of sections one  
immediately following  the other on the next line, like this:

A. <some space, let's say .5em> TITLE A
I. <same space as above, i.e. .5em> TITLE B

Now, the "A." and "I." in my example have different widths, the space  
after them is the same, so the TITLE A and the TITLE B would not  
align exactly one below each other. And that is what I am trying to  

A solution to this would be to place "A." and "I."  in a box of fixed  
length. But I am unable to do so.

This code works:
\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\fbox{\csname the#1\endcsname}\hspace 

But obviously does not bring much, just demonstrates I am fiddling  
with the right stuff.

And this code, i.e. \makebox instead of \fbox does not work for me at  

\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\makebox[1cm][l]{\csname the#1 

Could someone suggest a solution how to make the section titles begin  
exactly at the same distance from the margin no matter how much space  
the section number takes?

Kind regards,

Sergei Mariev

PS: Here is the quote on how to change space between the section  
number and section title:
Le 31 mai 06 ˆ 12:31, Sergei Mariev a Žcrit :

> I have defined some sectioning commands with the macro  
> @startsection. However, there seems to be no way to configure the  
> distance between the section number and the section title, i.e. the  
> amount of white space between the number and the beginning of the  
> section title. Is it possible to configure that parameter as well  
> [or have I overlooked something so obvious???? sorry in this case!]?

This is exactly the kind of topic covered in The LaTeX Companion.  
You've got to redefine \@seccntformat, defined by default in /Library/ 
teTeX/share/texmf.tetex/tex/latex/base/latex.ltx (= the source of the  
LaTeX format) as

\def\@seccntformat#1{\csname the#1\endcsname\quad}

so that there is one \quad of space (also called an enspace) between  
the number and the title. Put in the preamble of your document the  

\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\csname the#1\endcsname\hspace 

to replace the \quad by a \hspace of width "myspace".

For example, to produce section titles of the form "1.1.  
Introduction", with a normal space between the number and the title,  
you would write

\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\csname the#1\endcsname. }

and for producing section titles of the form "1.1 -- Introduction"  
you would write

\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\csname the#1\endcsname\ -- }

The LaTeX Companion (1st edn) includes the example code

\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\fbox{\csname the#1\endcsname}\hspace 

to produce a boxed section number separated by half an emspace from  
the title.

Hope this helps,

Bruno Voisin

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