The author of a book I am editing would like to insert a certain symbol inside the Chapter Numbers of his book. He wants this:

enter image description here

Is there a way to insert a symbol in background and be able to write over it?

Here is my MWE:

\documentclass[14pt,twoside,showtrims,a5paper,extrafontsizes]{memoir} %Classe estilo memoir
\usepackage[brazilian]{babel} %Traduz doc para português do Brasil
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} %Reconhece acentuação


    \renewcommand{\chaptername}{} %remove a string "Capítulo"

    \lipsum [2]

  • I thought of hacking it by editing the page in photoshop and including it afterwards, but then I would have lost the TOC reference due to the Chapter page not being counted normally.
    – Adriano
    May 24, 2016 at 5:12
  • It's possible, for example, using TikZ nodes, but does it really look nice? Here's an answer of mine (using hyperlinks, but that can be dropped of course): tex.stackexchange.com/questions/305747/…
    – user31729
    May 24, 2016 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


First of all, your use of

\renewcommand{\chaptername}{}% Remove a string "Chapter"

for this chapter is incorrect, as there is still a space remaining as part of the chapter name printing macro. Instead you're looking to redefine \printchaptername to something like


Now, for setting the number inside some other construction, you can redefine \printchaptername to suit your needs. Here is one example using pgfornament:

enter image description here



  \begin{tikzpicture}[every node/.style={inner sep=0pt}]
    \node[anchor=south] (image) {\pgfornament[symmetry=h,scale=4]{172}};
    \node at (image.center) {\chapnumfont\thechapter};


\lipsum [2]


For some ornaments, see

  • Thanks for the help @Werner! I had noticed that the numbers were not really aligned properly, but now they are fine.
    – Adriano
    May 25, 2016 at 4:27
  • do you think it is possible to draw that symbol I used in the picture with the Inskape package as suggested in the pgfornament documentation? Or we rather just change our mind and use some preset symbols.
    – Adriano
    May 25, 2016 at 4:50
  • 1
    @Adriano: Of course! You can overlay or inset objects on top of one another using a number of ways.
    – Werner
    May 25, 2016 at 4:55
  • Alright, I will make sure to look for a way of doing it.
    – Adriano
    May 25, 2016 at 4:56

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