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I have created my first LaTeX document, its very small and have 4 sections. The problem is the numbering is in decimals and looks a little odd, I have searched every where, I'm sure its a simple fix.

Current form:

0.1 introduction
0.2 aims
0.3 Objectives
0.4 summary

How can I change it to normal numbering, like 1, 2, 3, ...?

Here is my basic code:

\documentclass[12pt]{report}
\usepackage[parfill]{parskip}
\usepackage[round]{natbib}
\renewcommand\bibname{References}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

\renewcommand\thepage{}
\pagenumbering{roman}
\tableofcontents
\newpage
\renewcommand\thepage{\arabic{page}} 

\newpage

\section{Introduction}
The text starts here
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 21 '11 at 4:06

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1  
which \documentclass do you use? –  Vlad Oct 20 '11 at 23:21
    
report, im either getting the correct numbering within the table and then the wrong one for the section headings –  Lunar Oct 20 '11 at 23:30
    
Yeah thats a good point, thanks for the link. –  Lunar Oct 20 '11 at 23:34
    
Welcome to TeX.sx! Your question was migrated here from Stack Overflow. Please register on this site, too, and make sure that both accounts are associated with each other, otherwise you won't be able to comment on or accept answers or edit your question. –  Werner Oct 21 '11 at 4:10
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3 Answers 3

The report document class provides \chapter (and more), just like the book document class. And, as a consequence, it defines all sectional heading numeration relative to this commonly-used top-level sectional heading \chapter. Yes, there is another level higher called \part, but that is not used that often.

Numbered section titles have \thechapter.\arabic{section} by default; numbered subsection titles have \thesection.\arabic{subsection}; etc. This defines a hierarchical numbering structure, which is typical from what you see in books. Overriding this is possible by merely removing the chapter counter from being printed with the section counter:

\renewcommand{\thesection}{\arabic{section}}

The \the<counter> refers to the printing of the counter <counter>. The above command changes that printing behaviour to just print the section counter using the \arabic style. Since all the lower-level sectional counters print using the hierarchical structure, only this definition is needed for the rest to work as expected.

A better (perhaps preferred) alternative to this is to use a document class that does not support chapters. This is provided by the article document class. Since it does not provide \chapter, \section is the top-level sectional heading, making all counters necessarily be numbered hierarchically according to it.

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\renewcommand{\thesection}{\arabic{section}} may do, depending on your \documentclass.

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Without a minimum working example, it is difficult to tell exactly what the problem is. For instance, with the book class:

\documentclass{book}
\begin{document}

\section{section}
\section{section}
\section{section}
\end{document}

you get

0.1 section

0.2 section

0.3 section

But, if you use \chapters:

\documentclass{book}
\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\chapter{Chapter}
\chapter{Chapter}
\chapter{Chapter}
\end{document}

you get

1 Chapter

2 Chapter

3 Chapter

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