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How can I change the alignment of a chapter/section/subsection heading? Preferably, I want this to be something I specify in the header, as this will be necessary for all headers in the document.

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

This can be done using the titlesec package.

Here's a compilable demonstration example:

  {\normalfont\huge\bfseries\justifyheading}{\chaptertitlename\ \thechapter}

Now the headings are right aligned. I defined a macro \justifyheading. If you later wish to left-justify or to center, simply define \justifyheading to be \raggedleft respctively \centering.

alt text

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Just for posterity, this can be done even simpler, just using the "easy setup" technique described on 2 of the titlesec manual: just add \usepackage[raggedleft]{titlesec} to the header. – eykanal Dec 6 '10 at 19:22
@eykanal: Great, that option really works! – Stefan Kottwitz Dec 6 '10 at 19:32

You could use a KOMA-Script-class and redefine \raggedsection.

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Just for completeness -- This can also be accomplished with the sectsty package:

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