# How to add a preface chapter to a book that appears before all chapters and is not numbered as a chapter?

I just wrote the preface to my book and I made it a `\chapter`, but now the preface is `Chapter 1` of the book, which is not what I desire. I am using the `memoir` document class. Does anyone know how to make this preface chapter not really be a chapter?

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Use `\chapter*` instead of `\chapter`.

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It's still showing up as Chapter 1... Even with `\chapter*`. Btw, what is the meaning of the `*` in LaTeX commands? I have seen so many commands with stars but I haven't yet figured out what it means! –  Peteris Krumins Jun 3 '11 at 16:43
@Peteris No, it doesn't. The `*` following some commands denotes a "variation" of that command (what is varied depends on the command). Beware that a chapter introduced with `\chapter*{Title}` won't automatically go in the table of contents. –  egreg Jun 3 '11 at 16:46
@egreg, @lockstep, oh sorry, it must have been the old ToC because I ran LaTeX just once. I just cleared the whole document directory and ran LaTeX twice and now it shows up appropriately without chapter number (actually it shows unnumbered in ToC but `\section`s have number 0.x). I also moved the preface to `\frontmatter`. Before it was in `\mainmatter`. –  Peteris Krumins Jun 3 '11 at 17:03
@Peteris: To get rid of the goofy section numbers in your preface, do the same trick with your sections (and subsections, etc) in your preface that you did with chapter: Use the starred version of those commands: `\section*`, `\subsection*`, etc. –  David Hammen Jun 3 '11 at 17:13
And to get the preface into the table of contents (if that is your desire), you may need to use `\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Preface}`. –  David Hammen Jun 3 '11 at 17:16

A preface is usually set in the front matter. If you say

``````\frontmatter
<front matter>

\chapter{Preface}
<text of the preface>

\mainmatter
<main matter>
``````

the Preface will be set as an unnumbered chapter.

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