Start page numbers from chapter one and also reflect this in the TOC.

Currently the code for TOC is:

\renewcommand{\contentsname}{Table of contents}


I would appreciate if I can be pointed in the right direction. So far I have understood that you can use \chapter* in order not to include a chapter in the TOC.


1) How would you force Latex to start numbering from chapter 1 and forward?

2) How can you start page numbering from the first chapter?

  • You might find the section on page numbering on Sharelatex helpful.
    – Thruston
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 13:53
  • And the section on chapters and sections...
    – Thruston
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 13:53
  • actually, the behavior may differ in different document classes. (ams document classes do include starred chapter and other section headings in the toc.) for the book classes i'm familiar with, \mainmatter resets the page numbering to arabic and the number to 1. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


First of all, you can change the page counter at any point to the number you want like this:

\setcounter{page}{3} % Set the page counter to 3

following pages will continue from there.

As to starting the numbers from chapter 1, a good practice is to have alphabetical or roman numbering for things before the main text (also called frontmatter; such as table of contents, list of tables and etc.) and switch to normal numbering at the beginning of the main chapters (also called mainmatter). Numbering style can be set with the following command which also resets the page counter to 1:

\pagenumbering{alph} % set the numbering style to lowercase letter

style can be any of these:

  • arabic: arabic numerals
  • roman: lowercase roman numerals
  • Roman: uppercase roman numerals
  • alph: lowercase letters
  • Alph: uppercase letters

Sample code:


\pagenumbering{roman} % Start roman numbering

\pagenumbering{arabic} % Switch to normal numbers

\chapter{First Chapter}
Contents of chapter 1


In the book documents you can also use these commands to achieve the same thing:

\frontmatter % The pages after this command and before the command \mainmatter, will be numbered with lowercase Roman numerals.
\mainmatter % This will restart the page counter and change the style to Arabic numbers

Source: https://www.sharelatex.com/learn/Page_numbering

  • You should maybe mention the \frontmatter, \mainmatter, \backmatter commands of book
    – MaxNoe
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 17:02
  • 1
    \cleardoublepage should precede a \pagenumbering command.
    – egreg
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:28

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