I'm writing my thesis using the report class, which does not support the \frontmatter, \mainmatter, or \backmatter commands. However, I really like the idea of having Roman numeral page numbering for the abstract and other front-matter items as provided by \frontmatter. Is there an easy way to import this (or similar) functionality into the report class?

Thanks in advance for the help!

  • 8
    Welcome to TeX.SX! The easiest way is to use the book class. The difference are minimal. The layout is essentially the same if you call \documentclass[oneside]{book} and then \pagestyle{plain}. For the abstract just use \chapter{abstract}; there's no reason for it being treated differently.
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


As egreg said, the easiest way is to use book since the main difference between book and report is that it has these commands. however if you just want the page number switching without the switch in functionality of chapter to appendix in the back matter you can simply copy the definitions from book, ignoring the @mainmatter switch:



 % \@mainmattertrue

 % \@mainmatterfalse

  • 2
    I would also add to \frontmatter (resp. \mainmatter, \backmatter) \renewcommand\thechapter{} (resp. \renewcommand\thechapter{\Arabic{chapter}}, \renewcommand\thechapter{\Alph{chapter}}. Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 18:17
  • 1
    @Randy Randerson: \Arabic{chapter} should be \arabic{chapter}, I guess.
    – U. Windl
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 18:11

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