I want to use sectioning in letters (section, subsection, etc), but here I read that basically all of these sectioning commands do not apply to letters. What is the proper way to create sections in letters?

Using: documentclass[stdletter]{newlfm}

  • Which document class are you using? Aug 5, 2012 at 18:13
  • Sorry, not mentioned -- added now! Aug 5, 2012 at 18:14
  • 'etc.'? How many sectional levels will this letter need? And do you need to emulate simply the look/style of different sections (bold, large, small caps, etc.), which would be easy enough, or do you need them to do all the things normal sectional divisions do (numbered, unnumbered, in ToC, not in ToC), which would require a more involved solution.
    – jon
    Aug 5, 2012 at 18:18
  • 1
    The newlfm document class does not offer a \subsection command, and even the \section command is implemented in a rather rudimentay way, as \newcommand{\section}[1]{{\Large {\bfseries #1}}}. This is not surprising given that this document class is meant to be used for letters, memos, and faxes. If you absolutely must use a second-level sectioning command, you could set \newcommand{\subsection}[1]{{\large {\bfseries #1}}}. Note, though, that no provisions exist for any kind of numbering of these sectioning commands, and the spacing above and below the headers will likely be poor.
    – Mico
    Aug 5, 2012 at 18:20
  • I only needed this to visually achieve something similar to the section & subsection headers. I've used the newcommand function to get this done. Thanks all! Aug 5, 2012 at 18:30

2 Answers 2


Here's one possible solution, using the kernel command \@startsection (you chan find a description of this command in Where can I find help files or documentation for commands like \@startsection for LaTeX?) to redefine the \section command (the newlfm class offers a very basic \section command) and define the \subsection command to behave as those from article.cls. Basically, all you have to do is to define the counters and use \@startsection with appropriate settings. A simple example:


\renewcommand\section{\@startsection {section}{1}{\z@}%
                                   {-3.5ex \@plus -1ex \@minus -.2ex}%
                                   {2.3ex \@plus.2ex}%
                                     {-3.25ex\@plus -1ex \@minus -.2ex}%
                                     {1.5ex \@plus .2ex}%
\renewcommand \thesection{\@arabic\c@section}



\section{Test Section One}
\subsection{Test Subsection One One}
\subsection{Test Subsection One Two}
\section{Test Section Two}
\subsection{Test Subsection Two One}
\subsection{Test Subsection Two Two}


enter image description here

The previous solution doen't make provissions for a ToC, but this is also really simple: all one has to do is to define \tableofcontents using \@starttoc and define \l@section, \l@subsection to typeset the corresponding entries.


You have already accepted an answer, but I give you another option:

You can use scrlttr2 from the KOMAscript-bundle, and by by loading the letter class option file, section.lco, you will have sectioning commands. The appearance of the sections can be modified by standard komascript-commands. The .LCO also handles sections with star (\section*{Test}. section.lco gives you four levels of headings.

You can download section.lco from KOMAscript’s homepage. Put section.lco in your local-texmf, and remember to update the file database.




\begin{letter}{Name of Recipient \\ Address \\ of \\ Recipient}

\setkomavar{subject}{This is a strict formal letter}

\opening{}  % eg. Hello

\section{Section one}

\subsection{Subsection also}

\section{Section two}

\closing{Kind regards} %eg. Regards


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