I have a document which requires many levels of sectioning. I have sections, subsections and subsubsections, but require one more level below that. I can't change the sections to be parts and move everything up a level, as this document will eventually be included in another document which has parts/chapters already.

I see that the \paragraph command is used for defining the section level below subsubsection, but that doesn't produce headings in the same way that subsection and subsubsection do. Is there any way to either (1) change the \paragraph command so that it works like subsubsection but just adds another number - ie. 1.2.3.4 or (2) create a \subsubsubsection command to do the same thing?

  • There seems to be a problem with the first answer below (see comment on that answer) - it doesn't quite work. Does anyone have any ideas? I really need to sort the numbering for my report out soon before it goes to my supervisor! – robintw Jul 3 '12 at 17:29
  • 5
    What kind of document requires this many levels of headings? – mrf Jul 3 '12 at 20:48
  • @mrf One example: Documents a person writes for themselves to keep track of what they've learned. My thesis (master's) adviser teaches so much so much so fast - or I'm that slow - that I forget it quickly. The best way for me to retain what he taught is to type it up - which is how he advised me to work with him when we started. To quickly locate parts of the document, my subsubsections have subsections and subsubsections. Then I use package hyperref to create an index so I can find them quickly. But note that I type really fast (and can learn LaTeX somewhat fast). – Jeff Aug 16 '13 at 17:00
  • 4
    This seems like something quite a few people are into; is there any plan to develop a command which copies the style of a section level to a different level. \newsectionstyle[\subsubsection][4]{\subsubsubsection} \renewsectionstyle[\subsubsection]{\paragraph} or something along those lines. I understand that more powerful commands exist, but this specific feature seems to have gotten a large number of views and may be something to which a very basic user would like easy access. – kando Jul 17 '15 at 14:24
up vote 177 down vote accepted

You can use the titlesec package to change the way \paragraph formats the titles and set the secnumdepth counter to four to obtain numbering for the paragraphs:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{titlesec}

\setcounter{secnumdepth}{4}

\titleformat{\paragraph}
{\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}{\theparagraph}{1em}{}
\titlespacing*{\paragraph}
{0pt}{3.25ex plus 1ex minus .2ex}{1.5ex plus .2ex}

\begin{document}

\section{Test Section}
test
\subsection{Test Subsection}
test
\subsubsection{Test Subsubsection}
test
\paragraph{Test Modified Paragraph}
test

\end{document}

enter image description here

If you want to define a new sectioning command, you can take a look at Defining custom sectioning commands.

If you want to define a fresh new sectional unit below \subsubsection, but above \paragraph, then you will have to do considerably more work: a new counter has to be created and its representation has to be appropriately defined; the sectional units \paragraph and \subparagraph will also have to be redefined, as well as they corresponding \l@... commands (controlling how the will be typeset in the ToC if the tocdepth value is increased); also, the toclevel (for eventual bookmarks) will have to be considered.

Here's an example showing how to obtain this new sectional unit giving you now the option to use \part, \section, \subsection, \subsubsection, \subsubsubsection, \paragraph, and \subparagraph:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{titlesec}
\usepackage{hyperref}

\titleclass{\subsubsubsection}{straight}[\subsection]

\newcounter{subsubsubsection}[subsubsection]
\renewcommand\thesubsubsubsection{\thesubsubsection.\arabic{subsubsubsection}}
\renewcommand\theparagraph{\thesubsubsubsection.\arabic{paragraph}} % optional; useful if paragraphs are to be numbered

\titleformat{\subsubsubsection}
  {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}{\thesubsubsubsection}{1em}{}
\titlespacing*{\subsubsubsection}
{0pt}{3.25ex plus 1ex minus .2ex}{1.5ex plus .2ex}

\makeatletter
\renewcommand\paragraph{\@startsection{paragraph}{5}{\z@}%
  {3.25ex \@plus1ex \@minus.2ex}%
  {-1em}%
  {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}}
\renewcommand\subparagraph{\@startsection{subparagraph}{6}{\parindent}%
  {3.25ex \@plus1ex \@minus .2ex}%
  {-1em}%
  {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}}
\def\toclevel@subsubsubsection{4}
\def\toclevel@paragraph{5}
\def\toclevel@paragraph{6}
\def\l@subsubsubsection{\@dottedtocline{4}{7em}{4em}}
\def\l@paragraph{\@dottedtocline{5}{10em}{5em}}
\def\l@subparagraph{\@dottedtocline{6}{14em}{6em}}
\makeatother

\setcounter{secnumdepth}{4}
\setcounter{tocdepth}{4}

\begin{document}

\tableofcontents
\section{Test Section}
test
\subsection{Test Subsection}
test
\subsubsection{Test Subsubsection}
test
\subsubsubsection{Test Subsubsubsection}
test
\paragraph{Test Paragraph}
test
\subparagraph{Test Subparagraph}
test

\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Thanks for this, I've been using it and have only just realised that the section numbering for \subsubsubsection doesn't seem to restart after every \subsubsection. That is, I get 1.1.1, 1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.2, 1.1.2, 1.1.2.3 - where the last one should be 1.1.2.1. Do you have any ideas how to fix this? – robintw Jul 2 '12 at 15:52
  • 7
    @robintw You have to say \newcounter{subsubsubsection}[subsubsection] so that the new counter is bound to the subsubsection counter. – egreg Jul 3 '12 at 17:34
  • 1
    @Frankenstein Change the \def\l@subsubsubsection{...} lines to \def\l@subsubsubsection{\@dottedtocline{4}{9em}{4em}} \def\l@paragraph{\@dottedtocline{5}{12em}{5em}} \def\l@subparagraph{\@dottedtocline{6}{15em}{6em}} choose the second and third arguments appropriately. – Gonzalo Medina Sep 12 '15 at 1:52
  • 2
    @Frankenstein \l@<name> is the command in charge of typesetting entries of type <name> in a list such as the ToC, the LoF, the LoT. \@dottedtocline is a kernel command producing the actual entry format (number, title/caption, leading dots, page number). First argument: level for <name>; second argument indentation from the left margin; third argument: space reserved for the number. – Gonzalo Medina Sep 12 '15 at 2:32
  • 1
    I tried this, but it suppresses all section numbers throughout my document! Could it be related to the specific document class I'm using for a journal paper? It's one from Springer: \documentclass[smallextended]{svjour3}. – dinosaur Feb 13 '17 at 23:21

Here's a solution that doesn't require the use of a specialized package such as titlesec or sectsty. (There's nothing wrong per se, obviously, with using packages to achieve a certain goal; nevertheless, I think it can be instructive at times to see how one can manipulate some of LaTeX's built-in commands directly.)

If you use the article document class, the default appearance of the output of the commands \subsubsection and \paragraph is set up as follows:

\newcommand\subsubsection{\@startsection{subsubsection}{3}{\z@}%
                {-3.25ex\@plus -1ex \@minus -.2ex}%
                {1.5ex \@plus .2ex}%
                {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}}
\newcommand\paragraph{\@startsection{paragraph}{4}{\z@}%
                {3.25ex \@plus1ex \@minus.2ex}%
                {-1em}%
                {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}}

To make the \paragraph command behave more like the \subsubsection command, but with less vertical spacing above and below the sectioning header line(s), you could modify the \paragraph command to make its output behave as if it were a "subsubsubsection". The following MWE illustrates a possible setup.

\documentclass{article}
\makeatletter
\renewcommand\paragraph{\@startsection{paragraph}{4}{\z@}%
            {-2.5ex\@plus -1ex \@minus -.25ex}%
            {1.25ex \@plus .25ex}%
            {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries}}
\makeatother
\setcounter{secnumdepth}{4} % how many sectioning levels to assign numbers to
\setcounter{tocdepth}{4}    % how many sectioning levels to show in ToC

\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\section{A}
\subsection{B}
\subsubsection{C1}
\paragraph{D1}
\paragraph{D2}
\subsubsection{C2}
\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Could you please tell us how we can make the font, say, italic? – KutalmisB Mar 14 at 20:36
  • 1
    @KutalmisBercin - Should it be "just" italic, or should it be bold and italic? Please advise. – Mico Mar 14 at 20:42
  • Just italic, if possible. – KutalmisB Mar 14 at 20:45
  • 2
    @KutalmisBercin - In the \renewcommand instruction, change \bfseries to \itshape. – Mico Mar 14 at 20:55
  • Don't how to make an extra vote up; hence, many thanks. – KutalmisB Mar 14 at 21:03

I know this is an old question, but I found it with Google and I think the solutions are too complicated.

For me this is the easiest way for a subsubsubsection:

\newcommand{\subsubsubsection}[1]{\paragraph{#1}\mbox{}\\}
\setcounter{secnumdepth}{4}
\setcounter{tocdepth}{4}

After this it's possible to use

\subsubsubsection{Navigator}
  • 7
    That's not really a good solution. It does not provide an optional argument for \subsubsubection but allows a page break immediately after the heading. Do not use this! Instead use one of the solutions from the answers above, if your class does not provide its own interface for defining such commands. The solutions are less complicated than you may think. – Schweinebacke Apr 13 '17 at 10:59
  • 2
    Nevertheless, for me this solution worked better than either of those above. The solution by Gonzalo Medina caused side effects like removing numbering from the PDF table of contents. I was already using paragraphs and wanted them to retain the default formatting, so Mico's solution was not ideal. Furthermore the mentioned deficiencies of Daniel's solution didn't apply: I wasn't using the optional argument of \subsubsubsection, and I was already having to work around the fact that the default heuristics to avoid page breaks after headings don't work reliably. – Daira Hopwood Jul 13 '17 at 10:10

The are two good answers to show how to add a new level section or modify an existing one. But both are assuming some basic knowledge of LaTeX and typography. Maybe these remarks can help to new users to decide when these or a similar approaches are the best solution.

requires many levels of sectioning

The best solution could be reconsider that premise. Is it really true? Sometimes (e.g., legal documents, huge technical reports), but often is not an imperative requirement but the insane decision of mimic this or that monstrous thesis. Defaults levels are more than enough in most documents.

I have sections, subsections and subsubsections ...

I see that the \paragraph command is used ...

It seems that you are using the article class, because you mention only this four heading levels, so the first question is
How many levels of nested subsections can the article class support? Short anwser: there are six, not four levels of sectioning.

Moreover, the book-like classes than allow one more level (\chapter), so you can have at least seven levels (-1 to 5, not 1 to 7) without effort. Using the memoir class you have also the option that chapters behave as sections:

\documentclass[article,oneside]{memoir}
\setcounter{secnumdepth}{5} % Note that part is -1 level !
\setcounter{tocdepth}{5}
\begin{document}
\begingroup
\let\clearpage\relax
\let\newpage\relax
\tableofcontents*
\part{Part}
\endgroup
\chapter{Chapter} Text. 
\section{Section} Text.
\subsection{Subsection} Text.
\subsubsection{Subsubsection} Text.
\paragraph{Paragraph} Text.
\subparagraph{Subparagraph} Text.
\end{document}

Need more? For a deeper structuring of your contents you can use also the starred versions of sectioning commands (\subsection*, etc.), environment lists (enumerate, itemize,description, or a custom list) and a judicious use of blank lines (\par) to remark the content structure (often some people break paragraphs only to avoid long chunks of texts).

Still need More section headings? Well, it's up to you. Then go to other answers, or follow the last link for a ridiculously high number of sectional levels.

  • Just to offer an actual example that I have laying around in my computer, please refer to section 17.5.16.3.2.2.1. (Continuous Phase) of the ANSYS Fluent Theory Guide =) – JorgeGT Mar 27 at 20:20

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