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I'm trying to customize the Abstract of a memoir document using the following command:

 \renewcommand{\abstractname}{Executive Summary}

The problem is that it actually has no effect. How can I achieve this?

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marked as duplicate by egreg, Johannes_B, Kurt, Papiro, darthbith Dec 12 '15 at 13:00

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Can you construct a minimal example that shows the problem? Out of the box, this should do what you want. – Alan Munn Aug 2 '11 at 23:40
Put the command before the abstract. – Andrey Vihrov Aug 3 '11 at 6:30
up vote 27 down vote accepted

Your command is correct. However, I guess you're using the babel langage package which overrides it. In that case, use the \addto command of babel, i.e. replace

\renewcommand{\abstractname}{Executive Summary}


\addto{\captionsenglish}{\renewcommand{\abstractname}{Executive Summary}}

That applies to further names as well, such as \prefacename, \refname etc. You can use one \addto command for all. If you use a different language, replace \captionsenglish by the similar command corresponding to the language.

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Thanks.. your guess is right, and it works :) LyX adds the babel package by default although I don't think I need it. I still don't know why it overrides the abstract name, but I'll use your solution. – John Kirollos Aug 3 '11 at 21:42
@Tom Perhaps with further information, such as your (reduced) source code. Perhaps post a new question if it's long or if your situation is different. – Stefan Kottwitz Nov 10 '12 at 16:44
Why do I get ! Undefined control sequence. \addto? – André Fratelli Aug 26 '15 at 21:43
@AndréFratelli I assume because you did not load babel. But then a direct \renewcommand should work. Otherwise you could just ask a new question with all details you have. – Stefan Kottwitz Aug 27 '15 at 10:52
I ended up here because \renewcommand wasn't working. This solution didn't either. I'm putting a pin on this issue for now, but I just might follow your recommendation later. Thanks. – André Fratelli Aug 27 '15 at 17:17

And, of course,


if the language is Italian, and, generally:

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