I'm producing a book, using the memoir class.

The book has numbered chapters 1-8, but also has a chapter before ("Introduction") and a chapter after ("Conclusion"). These are all in the main matter; I mean there are also other unnumbered chapter-level sections in front- (Acknowledgements) and back-matter (Endnotes and Index).

I thought it would be simple to use \chapter* for Introduction and Conclusion, and use \chapter for chapters 1-8. Not so... it seems the numbering part is not the only difference.

Does anyone know of all the differences and what is needed to make them equivalent? So far I've found:

  1. chapter titles do not appear in table of contents. Solution: after \chapter*, add \addcontentsline
  2. footnote numbers (pagenote in this case) do not reset to 1. Solution: ???
  3. heading text (\createmark{chapter}...) not being updated. Solution: ???

Any other suprpises that I'll find out later ?

Alternative, any other approach to tackle the problem would be welcome.


2 Answers 2


After reading (and re-reading) the Memoir manual, I've found answers to the specific questions asked (added here for future reference):

  1. chapter titles do not appear in table of contents. Solution: add \addcontentsline
  2. footnote numbers do not reset to 1. Solution: use \refstepcounter at the chapter level.
  3. heading text not being updated. Solution: use the optional argument to \chapter*

Therefore, a rough equivalent to

\chapter{My Chapter Title}

without numbering is:

\chapter*[My Chapter Title]{My Chapter Title}
\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{My Chapter Title}

I hope no more differences appear...

  • \refstepcounter has the (maybe) undesirable effect of increasing the number of the following chapters. Is there maybe another solution? May 10, 2011 at 13:56
  • No, it does not increase the subsequent chapter numbers.
    – zvr
    May 14, 2011 at 10:18
  • Hmm, it appears to do it. Minimal example: \documentclass{memoir} \begin{document} \chapter{One} \chapter*{No number} \refstepcounter{chapter} \chapter{Two} \end{document}. Chapter Two comes out with number 3. May 16, 2011 at 14:11
  • Oooops, yes; you're right, of course. It's just that in my case I didn't use the \refstepcounter in the Introduction (before all numbered chapters) and there were no more numbered chapters after the Conclusion. Sorry for the confusion.
    – zvr
    May 17, 2011 at 9:53
  • +1 Thanks, that was just what I was looking for! It is basically a usual chapter, advancing the first number for all sections and subsections, it appears in the TOC and does not have the number in front of itself. Perfect! Jul 10, 2012 at 14:35

The best solution, in my opinion, is to use \frontmatter* and \mainmatter*, so that you can put the introduction in the front matter without any problem (the conclusion can be in the back matter, which doesn't do anything else than suppressing chapter numbers). The tradition of Roman page numbers in the front matter is a remainder of the old times when the front matter had to be typeset after the main matter was in final form. Electronic archiving will benefit from continuous numbering throughout the book.

If you really need a differently numbered front matter, write


in the preamble and

<text of the introduction>
  • 1
    Just to mention, that while your argument is persuasive, sadly the author doesn't always get to choose! I came across exactly this problem while formatting a thesis -- the guidelines demand roman numerals up to the introduction, and then arabic from then on, and I also want the Introduction/Conclusion headings to be unnumbered.
    – starwed
    Sep 19, 2011 at 15:23

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