I am writing a thesis that contains an abstract and acknowledgements page, but need to number the page numbers using Roman numerals. How would I do this? I don't want to include the title page but would like to start the abstract with roman numeral ii.


3 Answers 3


If you're using memoir, you can use any page contents with an empty pagestyle for your unnumbered title page, and then use the \frontmatter command to set lowercase Roman numerals as the default page numbers.

In my university's case, since I'm using hyperref and other packages, I've found it's best to let the unnumbered first page be numbered with alph format, the rest of the front matter pages use Roman numbering, and the main matter pages use Arabic numbering. This avoids the dreaded "pdfTeX warning (ext4): destination with the same identifier (name{page.1}) has been already used, duplicate ignored" messages.

Our unnumbered first page includes:


and \frontmatter at the end of the page.

In the main thesis file, we put \mainmatter right before we include the chapter files. Details as of 2011/08/15 at this site (particularly ttuthesis.sty and thesis-manual.tex -- thesis.tex will be updated later).

In response to comments, here's a simple example similar to what I use normally. Since I try to isolate my users from the guts of the style file, I separate out the page layout (my problem, and the graduate school's) with the page contents (their problem).

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\title{My Thesis Title}
\author{Me, The Author}

% Define the (unnumbered) title page layout here


% Define the abstract page layout (numbered ii) here
Abstract: \thetitle


% Define the abstract page contents here
Abstract content goes here.

This is chapter 1.
  • I am actually a newbie to tex. My document is a memoir. I don't know where to put these commands. Do I put it on the actual abstract and acknowledgements page? or place the commands between the "packages!}}}" commands?
    – JC123
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 0:54
  • Updated my answer with a short example. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 1:53
  • @Mike: Just out of curiosity: are both \thispagestyle and \pagestyle necessary?
    – Neil G
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 4:14
  • 1
    I could have sworn there times I've experienced \pagestyle only affecting following pages (and not the current page), but I may have been misusing it, or getting hit with an unrelated bug elsewhere. This particular code is trimmed down from my regular thesis style, and I didn't put too much effort into minimizing it. Since this does work with just \pagestyle, I'll edit accordingly. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 11:44

At the appropriate location (on the page for which you want to change the numbering format), you could redefine the numbering of the counter page to roman by using

\renewcommand{\thepage}{\roman{page}}% Roman numerals for page counter

By "at the appropriate location" is meant that you can temporarily switch to one numeration style/format, and then switch back at another location by means of

\renewcommand{\thepage}{\arabic{page}}% Arabic numerals for page counter

Also, if you want the counter page to start with something different, try

\setcounter{page}{2}% Start page number with 2

For more details on counter formatting in LaTeX, see the Help page on LaTeX Counters page.

  • 2
    Changing the \thepage command might confuse some things, therefore \pagenumbering{roman} and \pagenumbering{arabic} (and maybe \setcounter{page}{2}, if still necessary) are safer to use.
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 18:21

I suggest you use the following commands.

[preamble stuff]
\pagenumbering{roman} %
[titlepage stuff]
\thispagestyle{empty} % don't show (roman) page number on titlepage
[more frontmatter pages, e.g., dedication, table of contents, etc]

\clearpage %% start of mainmatter
\pagenumbering{arabic} % restart page numbers at one, now in arabic style
[rest of document]


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