It is well-known that \section environment may be assigned a label \label{refname} and then the refname may be used in order to reference this section:

\section{My nice section}
Definitely the section is nice!

\section{My another section}
In the section \ref{sec:my-nice-section} we have discovered that it is nice.

Is there such possibility for \paragraph that we can assign it a label and then reference it?

  • technically \section is a control sequence, not an environment ;)
    – Ruben
    Mar 21, 2016 at 3:18

4 Answers 4


Sure - if it has a number which can be referenced:

abc paragraph \ref{para}
  • 14
    \setcounter{secnumdepth}{6} is the answer, thanks
    – Timofey
    Dec 23, 2010 at 12:00
  • 1
    Does that look good, though? "Section" seems like a lot of numbers.
    – khatchad
    Sep 15, 2021 at 14:21

Here another approach which I find more direct, easy, and appropriate to the question posted above (source: wikibooks):

%The link location will be placed on the line below.

The good thing is that \ref{} will produce the number of the section the paragraph is entailed, \pageref{} will produce the pagenumber where the paragraph is to be found and if hyperlinks are produced automatically with e.g. the hyperref-package clicking on the link beams one to the beginning of the referenced paragraph, ... so correct, consistent, and userfriendly behaviour! :-)

  • 1
    But it won’t work the way the OP wants, as long the \paragraph is without a number.
    – Speravir
    Oct 17, 2012 at 17:53
  • Jip, but if a direct paragraph-number is needed it maybe would be wiser to go for a section / subsection / subsubsection / ... which does the numbering automatically because paragraphs are thought to be not numbered. Oct 18, 2012 at 8:22
  • Ultimately, wouldn't you want your text to say something like ".... as described in the 2nd paragraph in section X.Y" or "...paragraph 2 in section X.Y addresses this point...". So therefore, whilst you may not display a number like in a chapter, section or subsection, maybe define a new counter, and set the \par command to increment the counter. Resetting the counter at start of new section, subsection or chapter etc... May 16, 2013 at 11:35
  • Again, if something is so important that it needs explicit numbering, why not go for a build in solution with section, subsection ... IMHO: Either I would write "as described in section\ref{sectionlabel}" or I would go for "As described on page~\pageref{phantomsectionlabel}" ... Either way, the solution above makes referring to paragraphs possible - that was the question. It has small overhead. It is good style. (IMHO) ... if you do not like it and you insist on counting paragraphs go for solutions which have more overhead like the one of Ulrike Fischer posted here. Feb 5, 2014 at 11:28
  • 6
    +1 I like not having to give the paragraph a number. I can reference the section it goes to and have it land on the exact paragraph.
    – spdickson
    Mar 7, 2014 at 22:25

If you use the hyperref and the nameref package and label your paragraph:

\paragraph{The Elephant}\label{para:xyz}

Than you can use \autoref{para:xyz}, \nameref{para:xyz} within your code to get e.g.:

Subsection 3, The Elephant

Obviously I assumed that your paragraph is within subsection 3

  • This solution does not work if the paragraph's name ends with a dot (e.g., \paragraph{Kim et al.} results in "Subsection X, Kim et al"). Is there a workaround for that? If the dot in the paragraph is wrapped in a {} it works but it's tedious to do that for every paragraph.
    – Patrick
    Nov 26, 2019 at 12:19
  • 1
    best solution to your problem would be to define your own command for a paragraph including {}. \newcommand{\p}[1]{\paragraph{\text{#1}}} and try \p{alpha at.}\label{xyz} dfa \nameref{xyz} dfa Jun 30, 2020 at 10:16

I agree that the \setcounter{secnumdepth}{6} is an answer (though, \setcounter{secnumdepth}{4} is enough, because 5 is a subparagraph. The side effect is, however, that paragraph appears numbered.

The numbering can be suppressed with the help of the titlesec package which allows quite full control over titles. Just use the package and add:


Here [runin] means that the title is inline with the text; {\normalfont\normalsize\bfseries} is the format of the whole title; {} is empty label - and it suppresses the visible paragraph numbering. {0pt} is distance between label (anyway, non-existent) and title, but must be valid length; {} is needed for some intricate formatting; I always leave it empty.

  • This is more a commentary on the post by @UlrikeFischer. The OP did not ask for unnumbered paragraphs in the first place.
    – Ruben
    Mar 21, 2016 at 3:17
  • 2
    Indeed; however, the OP clearly had initially unnumbered paragraphs. Suggestion of @UlrikeFischer solves the problem, but has a side effect as paragraphs numbering. So, I thought that it is useful to know how to counteract the side effect. Mar 23, 2016 at 22:45

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