For a presentation using the beamer class (MiKTeX 2.8 with TeXnicCenter on Windows Vista) I need to have the italicized title of a book in a section heading. When I use \textit{...} or \emph{...} within \section{...}, my document fails to compile. The first (of 8) error messages is, in the case of \section{\textit{...}...}, Argument of \@gobble has an extra }.

If I remove the \textit{...} command from the \section{} command, then the document complies without errors.

I found an exchange about this problem in French at http://fr.narkive.com/2010/7/23/2275621-juste-par-curiosite.html, but can't seem to find the answer to the problem in the exchange. Maybe it's my poor French reading skills.

Can someone suggest a way of getting the beamer class to put/allow italics in a section heading?

Here is my TeX file:


\title[\textit{LTLYM}]{Title of Talk with \textit{Name of Book in Italics}}
\author[name]{my full name}
\institute{my university}
\date{October 21, 2011}









\section{Title of A Book Which Should Be in Italics (2002--2009)}

\begin{frame}{Assignments: Overview}

    \item Arts and crafts projects
    \item Public outreach projects
    \item Revelatory self-description



2 Answers 2


This depends on the fact that beamer makes multiple passes over the argument of \section, thus defeating the LaTeX protection mechanism:

\section{\protect\textit{Title of the book}}


  • 1
    That did the trick! Thank you for your help. Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 12:48
  • This works for \protect\linebreak[n] also. The \protect must be put right before the command in question. Commented May 5, 2019 at 7:18

From the link you sent, the person was asking why

\section{\itshape My title}

worked but

\section{\textit{My title}}

didn't. So Basically, doing the first method will solve the problem.

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