I am having difficulty adding the section number after the section title. Normally the order is section number followed by section title. I want it to be the opposite. I am looking for what I should add to the following .tex file code:

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    – Werner
    Commented Oct 22, 2011 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


You need to use the explicit package option with titlesec. It enables you to "explicitly" state where the section title is printed using #1 to denote the title. In this case, we place the title code in the <before code> section of \titleformat:

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\usepackage[compact,explicit]{titlesec}% http://ctan.org/pkg/titlesec
\section{First section}
\section{Second section}
\section{Last section}

The general structure of title formatting provided by titlesec is via


Since the <label> is no longer needed, it is explicitly inserted in <before-code> together with (after) the section title #1. I've placed \quad between the two components, but you can modify this to your like, using (say) \hspace{<len>} where <len> is any recognized (La)TeX length.

I kept your other settings for the sake of convenience since you didn't provide a complete MWE.

  • 2
    This is nice, but won't deal properly with \section*.
    – Raphael
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 10:23
  • I haven't found the option "explicit" in my titlesec in teTeX-2.0. Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 21:05
  • 1
    @imz--IvanZakharyaschev: teTeX seems to not be supported anymore (last updated May 2006), and TUG suggests using TeX Live. Do so and you'll have more up-to-date packages. According to the titlesec CHANGELOG, the explicit option was added March 27, 2007. It may also be relevant to read How do I update my TeX distribution?
    – Werner
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 5:32
  • @Werner Thanks! yes, indeed, the version of the package in teTeX is too old. Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 21:43
  • The answer you provided is applicable in {article} documentclass. How to do that in {report} documentclass? Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 10:41

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