I am writing a thesis using my institution's template. However, when I use \ref{label} command, there is a spacing after the label and punctuation/comma. My working is as follows:


\usepackage{UTMThesis, enumerate, amsfonts, longtable, qtree, etoolbox, array, rotating, pgf, tikz, tikz-cd, algorithm, csquotes}

    \@normalsize \normalsize

\usetikzlibrary{arrows, matrix, positioning, shapes, shapes.geometric, calc, intersections, decorations.pathreplacing}
    \tikz[remember picture,baseline=(#1.base),inner sep=0pt] \node (#1) {$#2$};
    \tikz[remember picture,baseline=(#1.base),inner sep=0pt] \node (#1) {#2};%


\usepackage{cite}                       % change  cite from [1,2,3] to [1-3] etc for number system
\makeatletter                           % change from
\renewcommand{\@biblabel}[1]{#1.}     % [1] to 1. etc 
\makeatother                            % in list of references
%\input{Pictex.tex} % using pictex
\cfoot{\vspace{-.35cm}\thepage}  % 
    \section{Background and motivation}
    In Section \ref{section:background}, we talked about...

that produces:

enter image description here

How can I fix this?

  • The problem you've encountered would appear to be caused by some code in UTMThesis.sty. Please tell us more about this style file. Is it available online?
    – Mico
    Feb 7, 2021 at 4:59
  • 1
    There's probably a \renewcommand{\thesection}{\thechapter.\arabic{section}\quad} within UTMThesis.sty. Instead the style should use \@seccntformat to set the space in the section counter formatting; not set it as part of the representation.
    – Werner
    Feb 7, 2021 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


I was able to replicate the issue when using UTMThesis.sty from How to write the definition of each term in an equation with pointing arrows? That style file has

\renewcommand{\thesection} % space between sect. etc.
  {\thesection\hspace{-.3cm}.\arabic{subsection} \hspace{-.135cm}}

Including the space within the \thesection representation makes it carry through to any \label and eventually the \ref as well. So, instead you'll need to redefine \thesection to the following:


You can increase the gap between the sectional unit number and title, adjust it via \@seccntformat:

\renewcommand{\@seccntformat}[1]{\csname the#1\endcsname\qquad}

The default space is \quad (equivalent to \hspace{1em}).

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