9

How does one get the symbol \S to appear before a number in \section{}?

12

You can use the titlesec package to change the formatting of section headings easily.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{titlesec}
\titleformat{\section}{\normalfont\Large\bfseries}{\S\thesection}{1em}{}
\begin{document}
\section{A section}
\end{document}

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