Possible Duplicate:
Formatting section titles

How can I change the format of section, subsection and ... to something like below?

2.1 | Greenhouse Effect

  • See, for example, the answer here. With titlesec you could use something like: \titleformat{\section}{\normalfont\bf}{\thesection\hspace{5pt}$\vert$}{5pt}{}
    – Scott H.
    Nov 30, 2012 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


The default formatting of section heading counters is performed by the macro \@seccntformat, which is defined in latex.ltx as

\def\@seccntformat#1{\csname the#1\endcsname\quad}

This prints the counter and inserts \quad. You can adapt this to print the counter and insert something else, like

\def\@seccntformat#1{\csname the#1\endcsname\hspace*{0.5em}$|$\hspace*{0.5em}}

This would still have a \quad-like feel, only with the insertion of a pipe:

enter image description here

\usepackage{lipsum}% http://ctan.org/pkg/lipsum
% \def\@seccntformat#1{\csname the#1\endcsname\quad}% Default
\def\@seccntformat#1{\csname the#1\endcsname\hspace*{0.5em}$|$\hspace*{0.5em}}
\section{Greenhouse effect}

Of course, this would hold far all section from the level of \section downward, whenever you have a numbered heading. Unnumbered headings will not be affected.


You can use the titlesec to help with this; I've used the lipsum package for sample text and I found \textpipe from the tipa package from The comprehensive sysmbols list.




% custom section
{\thesection\hskip 9pt\textpipe\hskip 9pt}


\section{Greenhouse effect}


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .