I am working on a long document with many chapters, using report class.

I would like to have three different versions of certain section titles (long for document, medium for TOC, and short for header). I am using package fancyhdr, so I followed instructions in a nice FAQ (also given in this question: How to use short subsection title in header but not in table of contents?).


(I believe that the idea is that the inside-title sectionmark takes care of the page the section starts on, and the outside one deals with the subsequent pages.)

This all worked fine. However, because my doc is double-spaced, I also used titlesec to shrink down some whitespace around chapter and section titles.

Now I get the TOC_title header on the page the section starts on (wrong), and then the (correct) Header_title header on subsequent pages. Obviously I would like to fix this.

I suspect that fancyhdr is a bad idea long-term and I should switch to another header package, but I don't want to mess with the current document. I also don't want to let go of titlesec right now because it really has helped a lot with the doublespaced whitespace, and the issue I am having is minor in comparison.

Is there a way to fix this using titlesec? I have tried reading the documentation but I am getting very confused. I would be very grateful for someone who already knows this package to make a suggestion.

This question has been asked before in How do I put a short title in the header but a long title in the toc (clashing of titlesec package with sectionmark)?. But the only answer suggests KOMA-script; I suspect that this is some other family of packages that I am not going to learn right now.

Let me also add that my dissertation is due tomorrow, so I will not have time to put together a small working example today. I am interested in solving this issue both today and long-term, so I can come back and do this later if necessary. But in the meantime, I would appreciate any answers today very much!

UPDATE (May 1, 2015): Here's a minimal working example. The Ponysec header on its first page is correct if \usepackage{titlesec} is commented out and not otherwise. The Carouselsec header uses Ulrike Fischer's minihack and works either way.

%%%%%%% BEGIN DOCUMENT    %%%%%%%%%%%

\section{Cactussec (UNIVERSION)}
No header on this page.
\section[Ponysec (TOC)]{Ponysec (main)\sectionmark{Ponysec (header)}}
\sectionmark{Ponysec (header)} 
Desired header here is "Ponysec (header)".
Desired header here is "Ponysec (header)".
\funnysection{Carouselsec (main)}{Carouselsec (TOC)}{Carouselsec (header)}
Desired header here is "Carouselsec (header)".
Desired header here is "Carouselsec (header)".

If the right solution (for me, who doesn't really know what KOMA/KONA/script means and yet wants to create decent typeset documents today, this week, this month despite this massive ignorance) is to use titleps instead of fancyhdr, I would still love to find out how to do that.

  • Welcome to TeX SX! A minimal example showing the problem would help us to help you.
    – Bernard
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 20:27
  • It's not really minimal, but there's an example in tex.stackexchange.com/questions/131763/…?. User wasarga was having the exact same problem. I can add a more compact example tomorrow.
    – sibilant
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 1:02
  • KOMA-script a versatile bundle of classes and packages for LaTeX2e.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 21:24
  • Well, this question hasn't really received enough attention, but it also has zero net upvotes, so rather than starting a bounty, I will accept @ulrikefischer's solid and increasingly appealing answer.
    – sibilant
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


You can try something like this to fool titlesec:



Some Remarks regarding the comments: You didn't provide a minimal example so most of it was guessing. titlesec calls internally \sectionmark{TOCtitle} so early that your own \sectionmark commands are too late. So I'm redefining \sectionmark to nothing so that titlesec can no longer set a mark and use a copy \orisectionmark to set your marks. Replacing the middle \orisectionmark's with \sectionmark should not work -- after all the command is defined to do nothing.

I don't know why you don't want to use the KONA-classes but imho a solution with titlesec would involve to drop fancyhdr and to use titleps instead. I'm quite sure that Javier implemented somewhere a way to set the marks correctly but as you already found out his documentations are not easy to read and finding something that works often involves a lot of trial and error and reading the code.

  • It works. This is a really great solution for tonight. But I put it directly around the sectionheader -- is that the only way it will work? I also can't quite parse what's happening, however. Is \orisectionmark a preexisting command? or is it just a placeholder saving sectionmark while you muss around with it? -- cont'd
    – sibilant
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:42
  • cont'd -- and if so, did you mean \let\orisectionmark\sectionmark \renewcommand\sectionmark[1]{}% \section[TOCtitle]{Fulltitle\sectionmark{Headertitle}} \sectionmark{Headertitle} \let\sectionmark\orisectionmark (that is, the 2 "orisectionmark"s right after the section declaration should actually be "sectionmark"s) -- because that's actually what worked for me.
    – sibilant
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:43
  • And of course I would love a better solution for the future (i.e., not involving KOMA-script). Does titlesec, which seems like such a thought-out package, really not provide for this triple tier of section titles?
    – sibilant
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:48
  • I registered so I could upvote your answer (why do I need such a crazy secure password for this site of all sites???), which is why my name changed.
    – sibilant
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:52

Using KOMA-script, there would be no problem :-)

\section[tocentry={platypus dancing till morning},%
head={dancing platypus}]%
{The platypus went on dancing till the mornig sun rose
over the hills}


  • Are you being cruel only to be kind?...
    – sibilant
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 0:32
  • To be honest, i haven't read the complete question. There is a whole bunch of packages out there, extending the standard classes with this and that. And there are memoir and KOMA provinding many of these things just out of the box.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 10:19

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