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I use a LaTeX template which center aligns all section titles. I want to left align these section titles but I do not know how. I tried

\begin{flushleft}
\section{\textbf{Introduction and Background}}
\end{flushleft}

but it has no effect on the section title (i.e., it is still centered). I tried

\begin{flushleft}
\textbf{Introduction and Background}
\end{flushleft}

and it is left aligned the word "Introduction and Background" but it is no longer a section title and thus the numbering using section number are all messed up.

I am new to LaTeX so please keep it simple.

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  • Welcome to TeX.SX. A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces, then they're marked as a code sample. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button ({}). Sep 1 '12 at 11:36
  • Even when trying to keep it simple, knowing which template you use would be very helpful. :-)
    – lockstep
    Sep 1 '12 at 11:42
  • Possible duplicate and here with centring instead of left align.
    – Daryl
    Sep 1 '12 at 11:49
  • I used the AMS LaTex Article tamplate
    – Lawrence
    Sep 1 '12 at 12:17
  • In that case, please accept my answer and (as soon as you have enough reputation) upvote it. ;-)
    – lockstep
    Sep 1 '12 at 12:37
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\documentclass{amsart}

\makeatletter
\def\specialsection{\@startsection{section}{1}%
  \z@{\linespacing\@plus\linespacing}{.5\linespacing}%
%  {\normalfont\centering}}% DELETED
  {\normalfont}}% NEW
\def\section{\@startsection{section}{1}%
  \z@{.7\linespacing\@plus\linespacing}{.5\linespacing}%
%  {\normalfont\scshape\centering}}% DELETED
  {\normalfont\scshape}}% NEW
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\section{Introduction and Background}

\end{document}

Note that using formatting macros within section titles as in

\section{\textbf{Introduction and Background}}

is not the recommended way to make general changes. You should rather use

\normalfont\scshape\bfseries

in the definition of \section (and make sure to use a font that provides bold small capitals).

Also see What do \makeatletter and \makeatother do?

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