Sections, subsections and the table of contents

Learning Objectives

  • Use of Sections and subsections
  • Table of Contents (TOC)
  • Searching for help

If you are using ShareLatex you will already have a section in your document. Otherwise, you can copy the following commands into your LaTeX editor.


\title{Latex Intro}
\author{Andre Geldenhuis and Sarah Hoyte }
\date{April 2015}




Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce risus 
urna, finibus at augue luctus, mattis mollis tellus. Aliquam consequat 
accumsan magna sit amet vestibulum. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et 
magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Maecenas ut 
pellentesque mauris. Nulla ac dolor at leo hendrerit interdum. Etiam 
vulputate posuere nisi in tincidunt. Sed non scelerisque purus. Phasellus 
efficitur faucibus nisl, eget posuere urna. Phasellus tincidunt dui 
lacus, in semper nulla volutpat eget. Pellentesque habitant morbi 
tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. 
Suspendisse nibh massa, rhoncus aliquam mattis in, ultrices eu urna. 
Vivamus in accumsan erat. -- generated with


It is quite common when writing LaTeX documents that you will forget how to do something. The easiest way to remember is to look back at older parts of your current document or documents you wrote in the past.

Add a new section

Add a new section below the paragraph making up your introduction. Look to the commands already in your document to determine how best to do it. One you have a new section, check that your document compiles, then add some text to your new section.

Sometimes (often) when writing you will want to do something that you don't have an example of in your previous writing and commands.
Thankfully there is a huge community of helpful LaTeX users! Googling for what you want to do will usually turn up something helpful. You can add terms to your search to bring up particularly helpful communities, such as stackoverflow if your first search is not fruitful.

Add a subsection

Google for how to add a subsection to your document.

Googling for help

Never be afraid to google for a solution to your LaTeX problem, even experts google for solutions all the time. Even when you can figure out a way of doing something complicated yourself, often someone else has figured out a more elegant solution.

One of the reasons people use LaTeX is to avoid unnecessary work. Now that we have some sections and subsections, lets automatically create a table of contents.

Add a Table of Contents

Insert \tableofcontents in the location you would like the TOC to appear. Once your document compiles, try moving \tableofcontents somewhere else. What happens if you move it before \begin{document}? Have a look at the error message. What if you moved it about after end{document} ? Return the TOC to a sensible location when done and make sure your document compiles without errors