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I'm having a bit of trouble with section numbering. When I use \section{} it starts at 0.1 rather than 1.0.

Here's my preamble:


Any thoughts?

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up vote 23 down vote accepted

The problem is caused because you are using a document class that has chapters, (in this case, report, but the book class would give a similar effect) but you haven't provided any \chapter command. In most classes that provide chapters, the section numbers are dependent on the chapter number (i.e., sections are numbered as chapter.section). Since you have no \chapter command the chapter counter is 0, and so the first section is prefixed with 0 also.

To solve the problem, either provide a \chapter commmand, or if you don't need chapters in your document, use a document class like article which doesn't use chapters.

Here's a sample document that shows the effect:

\documentclass{report} % change this to article to get the correct numbering
%\chapter{A chapter} % or un-comment this to get the correct numbering with report
\section{A section}
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It is my understanding that report.cls is intended for things like conference reports where lots of articles are collected into one large document. But its ill-selected name has caused countless students to use it for lab reports. – kahen Sep 18 '12 at 22:16
@kahen Actually I suspect that report was likely named as a class for what are often called 'Technical Reports' which are monographs that have structures similar to books but are not formal books. These are very common in computer science and engineering; not so much in other fields. – Alan Munn Sep 18 '12 at 23:17

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