# Regarding the `book`, `report`, and `article` document classes: what are the main differences?

What are the main differences between the `book`, `report`, and `article` document classes?

I am interested in the following:

1. visual differences in the final document;
2. differences in the way the document must be coded;
3. differences between the standard classes and their `KOMA-Script` equivalents; and
4. any other significant differences.
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It would be great if answers could possibly also address the memoir class as it seems to be quite similar as well. – s0rce Mar 3 '12 at 21:37

As Schweinebacke has noted, there are two kind of differences: a) differences in availability of commands and environments b) differences in the default settings. Only the latter may be changed easily using options and commands.

Differences with regard to available commands and environments:

• `book` and `report` feature the `\chapter` sectioning command, while `article` doesn't.

• In `book` and `report`, `\appendix` will cause `\chapter`s to be typeset as "Appendix X" instead of "Chapter X". For `article`, this isn't applicable.

• `book` and `report` will start a new page for `\part`s , while `article` won't.

• `book` offers the `\frontmatter`, `\mainmatter`, and `\backmatter` commands to control page numbering (`Roman` for the front matter, `arabic` elsewhere) and numbering of sectioning titles (no numbering in the front and back matter), while `report` and `article` don't.

• `book` doesn't offer the `abstract` environment, while `report` and `article` do.

Differences with regard to default settings:

• The `book` class uses the `twoside` class option (which means different margins and headers/footers for even and odd pages), while `report` and `article` use `oneside`.

• `book` uses `openright` (new parts and chapters start on "right" pages, adding a blank page before if necessary), while `report` uses `openany`. (Note that "right" means an odd page in `twoside` mode, but any page in `oneside` mode.) For `article`, the distinction between `openright` and `openany` isn't applicable.

• `book` uses the `headings` pagestyle for non-chapter-starting pages, while `report` and `article` always use `plain`.

• `book` and `report` use `titlepage` (the title page and -- if applicable -- the `abstract` environment will be typeset on pages of their own), while `article` uses `notitlepage`.

• For `book` and `report`, the lowest-level sectioning command which is numbered and incorporated into the table of contents is `\subsection`, while for `article` it is `\subsubsection`.

• `book` and `report` will use the arguments of `\chapter`s and `\section`s for running headings (if such headings are present), while `article` will use `\section`s and `\subsection`s.

• `book` and `report` will number floats (figures, tables etc.), equations, and footnotes per chapter, while `article` will number them continuously. Note that footnotes -- even when numbered per chapter -- do not feature a chapter prefix.

• `book` and `report` will use `\bibname` (which defaults to "Bibliography") for the heading of bibliographic references, while `article` will use `\refname` (which defaults to "References").

All of the above is valid for `scrbook` v. `scrreprt` vs. `scrartcl` as well.

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`twoside` vs. `oneside`, `openright` vs. `openany`, `headings` vs. `plain` are differences in the default settings only. These may be changed by options or commands. The differences about `\frontmatter`, `\mainmatter`, `\backmatter` and `abstract` are differences in availability of commands/environments. So they may be more important. – Schweinebacke Dec 3 '11 at 15:51
The `openright` option forces chapters to start always on odd pages. – Thorsten Donig Dec 4 '11 at 10:30