Some pseudo-code to illustrate the problem:

\chapter{Another day in paradise}
\section{The snake appears}
\somemacro % a macro that wants to know the chapter label

In the definition of \somemacro, is it possible in some way to obtain the string used to \label the current chapter (paradise in this example)?

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    @ChristianHupfer - sequence of characters. The word is commonly used in other programming languages, but maybe not in TeX/LaTeX. Should I say token instead? Jan 3, 2018 at 17:28
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    I know what a string is (I've programmed a lot ;-))... Which string do you mean?
    – user31729
    Jan 3, 2018 at 17:29
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    I mean the string paradise. Jan 3, 2018 at 17:29
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    How should LaTeX know which chapter or section you mean? There's no default way to achieve this
    – user31729
    Jan 3, 2018 at 17:31
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    When do you use \somemacro? Do you plan to do any \refstepcounter in between?
    – TeXnician
    Jan 3, 2018 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


A simple and robust approach is to define a macro that sets the label and remembers the name of the label, e.g.:


Then, macro \CurrentChapterLabelName contains the last label name set by \ChapterLabel:

\chapter{My chapter title}

... \section{My section title}\label{MySectionLabel} ...

\SomeMacro can now use \CurrentChapterLabelName;
the latter macro contains 'MyChapterLabel'.

Also, \chapter and \label could be merged to one macro with parameters for the chapter title, the label name and maybe the shorter title for the table of contents.

This solution works with lots of packages, because internal commands are not hacked.

  • Thank you. Your point about compatibility is well taken. Jan 3, 2018 at 18:09

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