I just wrote the preface to my book and I made it a \chapter, but now the preface is Chapter 1 of the book, which is not what I desire. I am using the memoir document class. Does anyone know how to make this preface chapter not really be a chapter?

2 Answers 2


Use \chapter* instead of \chapter.

  • It's still showing up as Chapter 1... Even with \chapter*. Btw, what is the meaning of the * in LaTeX commands? I have seen so many commands with stars but I haven't yet figured out what it means! Jun 3, 2011 at 16:43
  • 1
    @Peteris No, it doesn't. The * following some commands denotes a "variation" of that command (what is varied depends on the command). Beware that a chapter introduced with \chapter*{Title} won't automatically go in the table of contents.
    – egreg
    Jun 3, 2011 at 16:46
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    @egreg, @lockstep, oh sorry, it must have been the old ToC because I ran LaTeX just once. I just cleared the whole document directory and ran LaTeX twice and now it shows up appropriately without chapter number (actually it shows unnumbered in ToC but \sections have number 0.x). I also moved the preface to \frontmatter. Before it was in \mainmatter. Jun 3, 2011 at 17:03
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    @Peteris: To get rid of the goofy section numbers in your preface, do the same trick with your sections (and subsections, etc) in your preface that you did with chapter: Use the starred version of those commands: \section*, \subsection*, etc. Jun 3, 2011 at 17:13
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    And to get the preface into the table of contents (if that is your desire), you may need to use \addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Preface}. Jun 3, 2011 at 17:16

A preface is usually set in the front matter. If you say

<front matter>

<text of the preface>

<main matter>

the Preface will be set as an unnumbered chapter.

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