Currently I cite Section X placed in Chapter Y as follows:

In Chapter Y, Section X we studied the problem of...


In Section Y.X we studied the problem of...

I was wondering if any of the above is correct. If not, what is the correct way for cross referencing Sections placed in different chapters?

  • Normally sections are numbered with chapters so the second section of chapter 5 is 5.2 so just referencing section 5.2 is sufficient Dec 5, 2014 at 15:40
  • I've just thought about that and updated the question accordingly. Thanks David Dec 5, 2014 at 15:42
  • 1
    The second but also that is what \ref will produce unless you define it to do something different Dec 5, 2014 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


Just use


\section{Something about something\label{sabouts}}



 see section \ref{sabouts}

Normally this will produce a two part number such as 5.2 but it could produce a single number, the choice of referencing style should not be made for each reference, it should be set by the document class which can decide whether section numbers start from 1 each chapter or carry on and can decide the reference form of each counter that LaTeX uses.

  • I've always placed the \label after the sectioning command – is this potentially dangerous? Dec 6, 2014 at 2:14
  • 1
    @Sean both work but in the argument is safer especially for captions, for headings latex usually makes both safe Dec 6, 2014 at 18:04

Or you could use fancyref which provides more flexibility...

  \chapter{A chapter}\label{chap:a}
  A regular \verb|\ref{sec:bb}| to section \ref{sec:bb}, which required me to type \verb|section|.

  A fancier \verb|\fref{sec:bb}| to \fref{sec:bb}.
  \Fref{sec:ba} needs to be capitalised, so use \verb|\Fref{sec:ba}|.

  \section{A section}\label{sec:aa}
  \chapter{Another chapter}\label{chap:b}
  This is a new chapter, different from \fref{chap:a}.
  It includes \fref{sec:ba} and \fref{sec:bb}, whereas \fref{chap:a} included only \fref{sec:aa}.
  \section{Another section}\label{sec:ba}
  This is a section in \fref{chap:b}.
  \section{Yet another section}\label{sec:bb}
  This refers to \fref{chap:a}.

references in chapter 1 references in chapter 2

Note that 'on page...' is omitted when the reference is to the same page. If you prefer different formats, you can configure things pretty easily. (I eliminate the 'on page...' altogether, for example, as I find it to be unnecessary clutter.)

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