I am now writing a file with many section, subsection, subsubsections. I wish to declare a new shorthand for this.

Perhaps something like: \s, \ss, \sss for section, subsection, susubsection, and with an n for the *-versions.

For example

  • \sssn{} = \subsubsection*{}
  • \ss{}= \subsection{}

How does one go about setting this?

  • Are you familiar with LaTeX's \newcommand macro?
    – Mico
    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 4:48
  • 1
    To solve quickly: \let\foo\section , \let\bah\subsection, etc., but be completely sure that \foo and \bah are not already defined as \par or \emph, or the result could be amusing.
    – Fran
    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 4:49

1 Answer 1


I can think of two distinct approaches to achieving your objective.

First, you could issue a number of \newcommand directives to create macros called \s, \ss, \sss, and their "starred" counterparts \sn, \ssn, and \sssn:

% Must un-define "\ss" first:
% The unstarred commands take one optional argument:
% The starred commands take a single, mandatory argument:

to write things like \s[abbr form]{full form} and \ssn{full form}.

Second, you could pursue an abbreviated setup via TeX's \let primitive:

% Must un-define "\ss" first:
% Using TeX's "\let" primitive:

to write things such as \s[abbr form]{full form} and \ss*{full form}.

Either way, it's essential to undefine an existing macro called \ss. If you have reason to believe that you may need to typeset the character ß in your document and don't have way to enter it directly on your keyboard, you should definitely save the default meaning of \ss via, say, \let\ssorig\ss before undefining it.

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