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Submit and publish your thesis.

  • The Graduate Thesis: What is it?
  • Thesis Defences
  • Deadlines and Fees
  • Formatting in MS Word

Formatting in LaTeX

  • Making Thesis Accessible
  • Thesis Embargo
  • Review and Release
  • Your Rights as an Author
  • Re-using Third Party Materials
  • Creative Commons Licenses for Theses
  • Turning Thesis into an Article
  • Turning Thesis into a Book
  • Other Venues of Publication

For formatting instructions and requirements see the Formatting section of the School of Graduate Studies website. The thesis style template for LaTeX ( ut-thesis ) implements these requirements. You are not required to use the template, but using it will make most of the formatting requirements easier to meet.

►► Thesis template for LaTeX .

Below are some general formatting tips for drafting your thesis in LaTeX.  In addition, there are other supports available:

  • Regular LaTeX workshops are offered via the library, watch the library workshop calendar at https://libcal.library.utoronto.ca/
  • With questions about LaTeX formatting, contact Map and Data Library (MDL) using this form
  • There are also great resources for learning LaTeX available via Overleaf

Many common problems have been solved on the TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange Q & A Forum

LaTeX Template

To use the LaTeX and ut-thesis , you need two things: a LaTeX distribution (compiles your code), and an editor (where you write your code). Two main approaches are:

  • Overleaf : is a web-based platform that combines a distribution (TeX Live) and an editor. It is beginner-friendly (minimal set-up) and some people prefer a cloud-based platform. However, manually uploading graphics and managing a bibliographic database can be tedious, especially for large projects like a thesis.
  • A LaTeX distribution can be installed as described here . ut-thesis can then be installed either: a) initially, with the distribution; b) automatically when you try to compile a document using \usepackage{ut-thesis} ; or manually via graphical or terminal-based package manager for the distribution.
  • The LaTeX distribution allows you to compile code, but provides no tools for writing (e.g. syntax highlighting, hotkeys, command completion, etc.). There are many editor options that provide these features. TeXstudio is one popular option.

Occasionally, the version of ut-thesis on GitHub  may be more up-to-date than the popular distributions (especially yearly TeX Live), including small bug fixes. To use the GitHub version, you can download the file ut-thesis.cls (and maybe the documentation ut-thesis .pdf ) and place it in your working directory. This will take priority over any other versions of ut-thesis on your system while in this directory.

LaTeX Formatting Tips

Here are a few tips & tricks for formatting your thesis in LateX.

Document Structure

Using the ut-thesis document class, a minimal example thesis might look like:

\documentclass{ut-thesis} \author {Your Name} \title {Thesis Title} \degree {Doctor of Philosophy} \department {LaTeX} \gradyear {2020} \begin {document}   \frontmatter   \maketitle   \begin {abstract}     % abstract goes here   \end {abstract}   \tableofcontents   \mainmatter   % main chapters go here   % references go here   \appendix   % appendices go here \end {document}

►►  A larger example is available on GitHub here .

You may want to consider splitting your code into multiple files. The contents of each file can then be added using \input{filename} .

The usual commands for document hierarchy are available like \chapter , \section , \subsection , \subsubsection , and \paragraph . To control which appear in the \tableofcontents , you can use \setcounter{tocdepth}{i} , where i = 2 includes up to \subsection , etc. For unnumbered sections, use \section* , etc. No component should be empty, such as \section{...} immediately followed by \subsection{...} .

Note: In the examples below, we denote the preamble vs body like:

preamble code --- body code

Tables & Figures

In LaTeX, tables and figures are environments called “floats”, and they usually don’t appear exactly where you have them in the code. This is to avoid awkward whitespace. Float environments are used like \begin{env} ... \end{env} , where the entire content ... will move with the float. If you really need a float to appear exactly “here”, you can use:

\usepackage{float} --- \begin{ figure}[H] ... \end {figure}

Most other environments (like equation) do not float.

A LaTeX table as a numbered float is distinct from tabular data. So, a typical table might look like:

\usepackage{booktabs} --- \begin {table}   \centering   \caption {The table caption}   \begin {tabular}{crll}     i &   Name & A &  B \\     1 &  First & 1 &  2 \\     2 & Second & 3 &  5 \\     3 &  Third & 8 & 13   \end {tabular} \end {table}

The & separates cells and \\ makes a new row. The {crll} specifies four columns: 1 centred, 1 right-aligned, and 2 left-aligned.

Fancy Tables

Some helpful packages for creating more advanced tabular data:

  • booktabs : provides the commands \toprule , \midrile , and \bottomrule , which add horizontal lines of slightly different weights.
  • multicol : provides the command \multicolumn{2}{r}{...} to “merge” 2 cells horizontally with the content ... , centred.
  • multirow : provides the command \multirow{2}{*}{...} , to “merge” 2 cells vertically with the content ... , having width computed automatically (*).

A LaTeX figure is similarly distinct from graphical content. To include graphics, it’s best to use the command \includegraphics from the graphicx package. Then, a typical figure might look like:

\usepackage{graphicx} --- \begin {figure}   \centering   \includegraphics[width=.6 \textwidth ]{figurename} \end {figure}

Here we use .6\textwidth to make the graphic 60% the width of the main text.

By default, graphicx will look for figurename in the same folder as main.tex ; if you need to add other folders, you can use \graphicspath{{folder1/}{folder2/}...} .

The preferred package for subfigures is subcaption ; you can use it like:

\usepackage{subcaption} --- \begin {figure} % or table, then subtable below   \begin {subfigure}{0.5 \textwidth }     \includegraphics[width= \textwidth ]{figureA}     \caption {First subcaption}   \end {subfigure}   \begin {subfigure}{0.5 \textwidth }     \includegraphics[width= \textwidth ]{figureB}     \caption {Second subcaption}   \end {subfigure}   \caption {Overall figure caption} \end {figure}

This makes two subfigures each 50% of the text width, with respective subcaptions, plus an overall figure caption.

Math can be added inline with body text like $E = m c^2$ , or as a standalone equation like:

\begin {equation}   E = m c^2 \end {equation}

A complete guide to math is beyond our scope here; again, Overleaf provides a great set of resources to get started.

Cross References

We recommend using the hyperref package to make clickable links within your thesis, such as the table of contents, and references to equations, tables, figures, and other sections.

A cross-reference label can be added to a section or float environment using \label{key} , and referenced elsewhere using \ref{key} . The key will not appear in the final document (unless there is an error), so we recommend a naming convention like fig:diagram , tab:summary , or intro:back for \section{Background} within \chapter{Intro} , for example. We also recommend using a non-breaking space ~ like Figure~\ref{fig:diagram} , so that a linebreak will not separate “Figure” and the number.

You may need to compile multiple times to resolve cross-references (and citations). However, this occurs by default as needed in most editors.

The LaTeX package tikz provides excellent tools for drawing diagrams and even plotting basic math functions. Here is one small example:

\usepackage{tikz} --- \begin {tikzpicture}   \node [red,circle]  (a) at (0,0) {A};   \node [blue,square] (b) at (1,0) {B};   \draw [dotted,->]   (a) -- node[above]{ $ \alpha $ } (b); \end {tikzpicture}

Don’t forget semicolons after every command, or else you will get stuck while compiling.

There are several options for managing references in LaTeX. We recommend the most modern package: biblatex , with the biber backend.  A helpful overview is given here .

Assuming you have a file called references.bib that looks like:

@article{Lastname2020,   title = {The article title},   author = {Lastname, First and Last2, First2 and Last3 and First3},   journal = {Journal Name},   year = {2020},   vol = {99},   no = {1} } ...

then you can cite the reference Lastname2020 using biblatex like:

\usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex} \addbibresource {references.bib} --- \cite {Lastname2020} ... \printbibliography

Depending on what editor you’re using to compile, this may work straight away. If not, you may need to update your compiling command to:

pdflatex main && biber main && pdflatex main && pdflatex main

Assuming your document is called main.tex . This is because biber is a separate tool from pdflatex . So in the command above, we first identify the cited sources using pdflatex , then collect the reference information using biber , then finish compiling the document using pdflatex , and then we compile once more in case anything got missed.

There are many options when loading biblatex to configure the reference formatting; it’s best to search the CTAN documentation for what you want to do.

Windows users may find that biber.exe or bibtex.exe get silently blocked by some antivirus software. Usually, an exception can be added within the antivirus software to allow these programs to run.

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  • Last Updated: Sep 15, 2023 3:23 PM
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Fancy latex chapter styles.

Many books, theses and reports are written in LaTeX using the report or book document classes. Often, the authors make use of the default chapter style. There are, however, a great number of alternative styles available, some of which being very fancy or playful. This post is a collection of alternative chapter styles available, some as packages, others simply in form of LaTeX code.

Default chapter style

The default chapter style is often used in (academic) books and theses. Here is an example:


Package titlesec

The titlesec package allows basic changes to the standard chapter style, including setting the font style and size or placement of the title. You can do great things with titlesec package and the titleformat command in particular, just be creative (and let me know below)!

Here is a neat example:


See the documentation for more details.

Package fncychap

The fncychap package has a nice set of predefined chapter styles. The style is set through the optional argument when loading the package. Available styles include: Sonny, Lenny, Glenn, Conny, Rejne, Bjarne, and Bjornstrup. The package documentation has examples for all available styles. The package will use the LaTeX default chapter style in case the optional argument is not set (i.e. \usepackage{fncychap} ).

Examples of Glenn and Bjornstrup chapter styles provided from the fncychap package:


Chapter styles with memoir

The memoir document class is more flexible in terms of chapter styles than report or book.

I will not go into detail since there is extensive documentation on the memoir document class (see page 83 onwards). Furthermore, there is additional documentation describing the memoir chapter styles including code examples and output. Below you’ll find one of the examples taken from that document named hansen .


Styling the chapter

Henrik Stuart wrote this article in 2007 with a series of great chapter styles. They are also based on the memoir document class and the PGF/TikZ package . Here is an example that I like a lot, simply beautiful!


A few more resources worth checking out

I found a discussion on tex.SX quite enlightening with lots of rather fancy chapter style examples.

This greatly colored example is another chapter style based on PGF/TikZ and titlesec . You can get the code and screenshots from  texblog.net  or texample .


  Did I forget anything? Drop me a comment.

Share this:


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3. July 2012 at 16:00

Thank you…

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4. July 2012 at 8:40

I really like the “Less is More” style – it’s just what I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

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4. July 2012 at 8:48

Thanks for dropping a comment! Appreciate it. Tom.

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7. July 2012 at 7:08

First of all: Tom, thank you for an excellent source of TeX and LaTeX information. I reference it frequently.

Second: I just wrote an include for making my chapters look good (to me). Here is the code:

I like the effect (others may not). I offer it PD.

16. July 2012 at 15:21

Thanks for sharing the code! For others to use it the way you designed it however, you would also have to provide the jpg and some things that got lost from the preamble like which packages you load and the color definition of chapterbackground . If you agree, I will send you an e-mail so you can attach the picture. Or if you have a place to upload it to, just send me the link.

Looking forward to seeing your chapter style!

Thanks, Tom.

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8. March 2016 at 18:23

Sir; can you give complete code plz; a running one; Thanks anyways

9. March 2016 at 13:24

I provided complete minimal working example for all chapter styles. Please let me know which example is not running.

Thanks, Tom

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8. July 2012 at 4:57

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16. July 2012 at 15:37

Wonderful examples. I’m always looking for customisations of these types, of which your blog is full of, to finesse my thesis. Thank you.

The new chapter definitions however, don’t seem to work on unnumbered chapters (ie. \chapter*{Name of Unnumbered Chapter}) Any thoughts? Cheers,

16. July 2012 at 15:48

Please tell me which style you are having problems with and I will look into it. Thanks, Tom.

17. July 2012 at 9:45

Initially I have been playing around with your more is less style and the titlesec package. Cheers, JK

19. July 2012 at 5:51

I works perfectly for me (see the code below). Please provide a minimal example illustrating the problem.

19. July 2012 at 15:28

Cheers Tom. The code is working fine for me now too. I must have had something commented out before, else some other random oddity was present.

20. July 2012 at 12:50

Great, I’m glad it worked out. Thanks for the feedback! Tom.

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6. September 2012 at 10:30

hi, I use latex in linux (ubutu). Please tell me how I use fancychapter. For using the same I am have to download any package. From where I download it and tell me the stps.

6. September 2012 at 16:39

Thanks for your question. You are right, the fancychapter package is not included in the standard TeX distributions. However, you can get the style file here . The easiest way would be to just keep the file in your project folder where your tex-file is located. Apart from loading it, that’s all you need.

Hope it works. Best, Tom.

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6. September 2012 at 14:11

Thank you so very much! Been looking all over for this…

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8. October 2012 at 14:29

Thanks for the nice post. This is very helpful. Is there anyway I can give author names and affliations beneath the chapter title?

9. October 2012 at 2:41

Hi Prakash,

You may find the answer to a similar question on tex.SX useful.

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7. November 2012 at 15:59

Good work. Thank you for the post. You are doing a great job.

9. November 2012 at 3:32

Thanks Hassan!

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2. February 2013 at 21:54

Hi Tom, I liked very much the “Less is More” style. But it creates a problem for me! It eats practically APPENDIX word but after comes appendices with letter: A,B etc. How can I fix this? Many thanks.

3. February 2013 at 11:34

Thanks for your question. I’m not sure whether I understand your problem. Please provide a minimal working example which I can run on my computer.

Here is some code that adds the word Chapter and later Appendix to the title. You might find this useful.

3. February 2013 at 19:38

Thank you very much, indeed! But I truly satisfied with the chapter having only number without word “chapter”. I would like only to Have Appendix word before A, B etc appendices ! Could you help with this? Tanks in advance.

4. February 2013 at 7:51

A possible solution is to use the code I provided below with a minor modification, set \chaptername to “empty” for regular chapters. Here is the code:

4. February 2013 at 13:30

Thank you very much Tom!

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3. June 2013 at 6:26

Hi…..! for thesis chapter lay out, i want a particular design, but i couldn’t able to paste an image of that design, how can I post that image for further corresponding, in order to need code for that designing. Currently I am using following package: %Options: Sonny, Lenny, Glenn, Conny, Rejne, Bjarne, Bjornstrup \usepackage[Sonny]{fncychap}

3. June 2013 at 17:44

You can upload it to Dropbox, Picasaweb, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, anywhere you like and share the link. if you would rather not post the design publicly, you can get in touch here .

Cheers, Tom

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3. June 2013 at 18:42

Hi Tom, first of all, thanks dude. I’ve favourited your page, btw, many useful info here. I have a question, what about just “Chapter 1 – Name_of_the_chapter”? How could I do that? Thanks again, keep up the great work. See ya!

5. June 2013 at 3:22

Using the titlesec example from above with a few minor modifications:

8. June 2013 at 12:58

Great Tom! Thanks for your help. That was a hand in the wheel, hahaha! I’ll use that to generate a thesis model to use in my doctorate program. Thank you very much!

4. June 2013 at 11:10

Hi TOM,,,,, I am also sending a link contained a PDF file for a particular chapter design, that i want for my thesis.. https://www.dropbox.com/s/jrgzuzt2z2r1km1/Chapter%20style.pdf


5. June 2013 at 3:05

Thanks for the link. I’m generally happy to help with problems. However, if you are asking me for code, at least try yourself first, please. Most of the information can be found in the post above and package documentation.

Anyway, here is what I came up with:

5. June 2013 at 3:50

thanks tom…… Since I am beginner in Latex, that’s why asked for the code, I have tried, but due to some minor errors I didn’t do it. Well after referring your code, I got it, . . . . . I have rectified many things by visiting this blog, really great job,,,,, once again thanks for code….. cheers.

6. June 2013 at 3:50

That’s ok. Please consider creating a minimal working example next time that would let me reproduce the minor errors. By doing so, there is a good change you find a solution and by posting it on my blog, you will help other people with similar issues.

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25. July 2013 at 10:01

Thanks for the extremely usefull information. Personally I very much like the ‘less is more’ style for my thesis. I was wondering though if it were possible to add two horizontal lines: one above and one underneath the title. Is there an easy way to do this?

Either way, thanks a million ! Your resumation was clear and very helpfull.

Greetings, Matthias

25. July 2013 at 12:55

I think I figured it out, but my way might not be according to LaTeX etiquette. My code:

12. August 2013 at 12:28

Hi Matthias,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’m glad you found a solution that works. Thanks for posting it here. Alternatively, you one could also add the top rule with format ( see the documentation ).

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29. August 2013 at 13:49

Really nice! Thank you very much, Less is More rules! 😀

29. August 2013 at 14:18

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11. November 2013 at 19:24

Hi, I’d like to put the chapter title in the center of a separate page. How to achieve this

12. November 2013 at 13:18

Thanks for your question. Try this and let me know what you think:

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30. September 2014 at 7:05

Hi Tom, I am using the book class for writing my thesis. I am happy with its formatting but I have a issue with its chapter title. It consumes a lot of vertical space and comes in the middle of the page. Is there a way to keep the chapter heading at the top like this:

Power System Analysis and Optimization

Regards, Govind

30. September 2014 at 7:35

I didn’t quite catch whether you wanted to center the heading horizontally. Below is an example that should give you enough flexibility to customize the chapter heading to your needs.

Cheers, Tom.

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15. January 2015 at 16:20

Seems the image links in this blog post are broken :-(… Any chance to get them restored

14. February 2015 at 6:06

Thanks for the notification, I’m working on it 🙂

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7. February 2015 at 22:46

Hi Tom, I am writing my thesis in latex. I just want to change the font size of chapter title (by default it is very big). I used the titlesec package. But the problem is now “Chapter #” disappear and it just appears “# followed by Introduction”.

and the result is

# Introduction

I want to display it as

Chapter # Introduction

or is there any other way to change the font size interactively?

Thanks you very much shastry

14. February 2015 at 5:36

Hi Shastry,

Thanks for your comment. I tried your code and it seems to work fine. Here’s a minimal working example:

If this doesn’t help, please provide a similar complete example and I’ll be happy to take a look.

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26. July 2015 at 15:00

Thank you very much. 🙂

8. March 2016 at 18:18

The text size should be 12; in less is more; and less is less

9. March 2016 at 13:23

The default font size for all standard document classes is 10pt . You can change it to 12pt using:

9. March 2016 at 16:58

Thanks …. i did it, do you have some beautiful thesis template with nice looking chapters?

15. March 2016 at 18:36

Thesis templates are frequently provided by the university and there is not a lot of flexibility. If your institution doesn’t provide an official template, you might use any of the chapter styles described in the post above and change them to your liking. Also, it may be worthwhile to take a look at templates from other universities and adapt them according to your needs/preferences.

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7. June 2016 at 17:43

Tom, is there a way that i can change the language of the default “Chapter 1” ? I need it to say “Capitulo 1”, for example in the “daleif1” chapter style at the top right chapter numeration. I’m using the spanish language package but nothing changes, i think the problem is the default configuration of the chapter style. Thanks..

7. June 2016 at 21:44

Dear Emiliano,

Thanks for your question. I removed the code as I wasn’t able to run it. If you’d like me to look at your code, please provide a minimal working example that I can copy-paste (similar to the example below). In general, you can set the language through babel . This works for me in the example. Alternatively, you can manually redefine \chaptername (code commented out). These approaches are not the same however. Babel also changes the language of other keywords like “Contents”, “List of Figures”, etc.

8. June 2016 at 17:40

Thanks for the reply Tom, but the “\renewcommand\chaptername” suggestion isn’t working, i post here a snippet to see what the problem is, at page 7 the first chapter “Introducción” is generated with “Chapter 1” caption at the top right corner numeration, and subsecuent pages are generated with “Chapter 1. Introducción ” at the header note

9. June 2016 at 22:06

Hi Emiliano,

Thanks for the code. The problem is that you use babel with the option spanish,english which sets it to English. The latter overwrites the former. What you’ll have to do is load babel with spanish only. If you see an error, try commenting out the first line ( nag package ), it seems to only work with english .

Nice chapter style by the way.

10. June 2016 at 2:38

Thanks again Tom, but unfortunately i do have an error, even i’ve commented out the line “\RequirePackage[l2tabu]{nag}”. The error goes:

Introduccion.tex:7: Argument of \@firstofone has an extra }.

\par l.7 \chapter{Introducción}

10. June 2016 at 23:21

Well, it says there is an extra closing brace “}”.

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24. August 2016 at 14:43

Hey Tom, First of all thanks for this awesome tutorial! I am currently trying to put your “Less is more” style to the template I am using but for some reason, the text of the chapter won’t show up ! It would be awesome if you could help me !

24. August 2016 at 16:16

Hi Andreas,

I’m glad you like the chapter style. I hope you don’t mind that I shortened your code to the most relevant bits. The code works if you load titlesec without the explicit option. Please see the titlesec package documentation for more details.

24. August 2016 at 16:22

Wow awesome,

Thank you very much Tom and thanks for the explanation, didn’t figure out it could have its origin in the way the package was loaded.

25. August 2016 at 17:41

No problem, glad to help. Best wishes.

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11. January 2017 at 11:45

Could you please tell me how to make a chapter look like this:

(supposing I am using \usepackage[latin]{babel} for the sake of editing a latin text)

De Lusitanae oppida celebriora Caput undeuicesimum

That is, the numbering in full and with words (not numbers) and after the name of the chapter (that is how the manuscript has it). Thanks a lot.

5. February 2017 at 12:46

Hi Martins,

Thanks for your question. Rearranging the chapter heading is fairly straight forward using the titlesec package . Whereas producing the number as a word is more tricky. Either do it manually with an array-like structure or email the authors of the fmtcount package to add support for latin.

Hope this helps, Tom

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9. February 2017 at 15:34

I really like the Less is More style. However it seems to overwrite my footer. The page numbering on the chapter sides are different from the other pages. I would like them to be identical. My footer is defined as:

Do you know how I can fix this issue?

13. February 2017 at 0:26

Hi Alexander,

Thanks for your comment. By default, for pages with a chapter heading the page-style plain is used. The example below shows how to change that.

22. April 2017 at 13:43

Thanks Tom!

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3. May 2017 at 10:17

I dont have any idea why, but by writing $|$, the line showed up vertically.

3. May 2017 at 14:55

Thanks for your comment. Isn’t that what you would expect? Can you provide a minimal working example to illustrate your problem, please?

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19. May 2017 at 12:28

Hi. I am trying to use the ‘less is more’ chapter style. It works perfectly fine, except that the \chapter* command produces no title. Can you please assist?

23. May 2017 at 22:44

When I use a starred chapter in the example from the post it works as expected. Can you please provide a minimal working example to illustrate your problem.

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7. August 2019 at 6:59

Thanks, it helps me a lot

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LaTeX forum ⇒ Page Layout ⇒ Chapter and section style in latex thesis

Chapter and section style in latex thesis.

Post by Raly » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:02 pm

User avatar

Post by Ijon Tichy » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:03 am

Post by Raly » Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:32 am

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Your guide to fancy chapters in latex.

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The contents of a book are usually divided into chapters, which may, in turn, be organized into different parts.

How to start a new chapter?

The command \chapter is the one used in plain LaTeX to start a new chapter . This macro changes the required counters (the chapter, section, and float counters, among others) and also produces a large heading that usually consists of the chapter number and its title.

By default, LaTeX produces elegant and professional chapter titles, but one may be interested in changing the style of the output produced by \chapter. For example, you may want more sophisticated chapter headings for a literature book or a professional glimpse of a chapter for a business report.

In this tutorial, we will focus on how to customize the style of these chapter titles , so that you can make them more beautiful and professional, depending on the context in which your document will be used.

The default chapter style

First, let’s take a look at the default LaTeX chapter style, and see how the macro \chapter can be used. As we can see in the following image, the output it produces basically consists of the word “Chapter” in a large and bold font, followed by the number of the chapter and, in a new line, its name . Note also that all the contents of the title are left-aligned.

The default LaTeX chapter style.

The code used to produce the previous example was:

You can see that the \chapter macro has a very straightforward use:

  • you just have to pass it the name of the chapter. LaTeX will then take care of the rest, changing the header and foot of the page containing the title, setting the correct spacing, and many other things.

Although the \chapter macro is defined by default in plain LaTeX, in the previous example we have loaded a couple of packages, just for convenience.

  • The lipsum package has no importance at all, since it is used to produce dummy text with the \lipsum command .
  • Although it is not necessary for the previous example to work, we also loaded the babel package, with the “english” option. As you probably know, this package is used to give support for different languages in LaTeX. The languages you want to support in your document are passed as package options.

The latter has the effect of translating the words that LaTeX typesets by itself, such as “Table of contents”, “Figure”, and so on.

In particular, this means that the word “Chapter” typeset by the \chapter command is written in the language we are using for the document, making everything consistent.

For example, you can see below how the previous example looks when using the “spanish” option of the babel package, together with the chapter title written in Spanish.

latex thesis chapter style

For fancy chapters, use fncychap package!

It is very easy to use this package: you just have to invoke it in the preamble of your document and use as a package option the desired chapter style. This style could originally be any of the following:

  • and Bjarne .

In the newest release, however, there have been included two chapter definitions.

  • The first of these is named PetersLenny , after the author Peter Osborn. This chapter definition is based on Lenny, and the author carefully tweaked the measures of the lines, individually, for each chapter number (up to 20) and each appendix (up to Z).
  • The second was defined by Jean-Marc Francois and is named Bjornstrup .
Of course, all these default chapter styles can be fine-tuned by the user in a high lever, so that we can easily change font sizes, font families, horizontal and vertical rules , and other aspects we will shortly explain.

First, however, let’s have a quick overview of the different chapter styles. Use the following code and change the chapter style:

1. The Sonny style

latex thesis chapter style

2. The Lenny style

latex thesis chapter style

3. The Glenn style

latex thesis chapter style

4. The Conny style

latex thesis chapter style

5. The Rejne style

latex thesis chapter style

6. The Bjarne style

latex thesis chapter style

7. The Bjornstrup style

latex thesis chapter style

Commands for customization

Apart from the chapter styles, some additional commands are provided in order to create user-defined chapter heads. To understand such commands, you have to be aware that the chapter heading is divided into two parts:

  • the first part defines the so called \chapapp and \thechapter, which contain information of the text “Chapter” used at the beginning of every chapter title, and the chapter number , respectively.
  • The second part is the chapter title provided by the user.
From now on, the \chapapp and \thechapter will be referred to as chapter name and chapter number , respectively. The title defined by the user is referred to as the chapter title .
  • \mghrulefill{width} : This command is a more general version of the command \hrulefill , which is used to print a horizontal rule for the remaining space of the line. The new command includes a width parameter, used to specify the width of the ruler. This parameter, of course, has to be a valid TeX dimension. The present macro can mainly be used to decorate the chapter headers.
  • \ChNameUpperCase and \ChNameLowerCase : these commands will change the chapter name into upper or lower case, respectively.
  • \ChNameAsIs : this additional case command for the chapter name results in the name being printed in the default case.
  • \ChTitleUpperCase , \ChTitleLowerCase and \ChNameAsIs : These are analogous commands for the chapter title.
  • \ChRuleWidth{width} : This command controls the rule width of the predefined chapter styles. As always, width must be a valid TeX dimension.
  • \ChNameVar , \ChNumVar and \ChTitleVar : These commands can be used to set the font-related matters such as its size, type and face. They affect the chapter name, number and title, respectively.
  • \TheAlphaChapter : This command is present in the Bjarne chapter style, and is used to typeset the chapter number using the corresponding word. This word goes from”ZERO” to NINETY-NINE”.

The previously-shown default styles have some set of default settings. We won’t go into the detail of which settings correspond to each style (you can refer to the package documentation for that). Instead, we are going to see with an example how to use those settings to fine-tune one of the default styles. Look, for example, at the following code:

As you can see, we made some modifications to the Lenny chapter style.

  • First we set the \ChNameUpperCase command, so that the “Chapter” text appears with capital letters.
  • Second we changed the font characteristics of the number and the title. For the number, we made it smaller, and used the same font as the default configuration. For the title, we also made it smaller, and instead of using \bfseries as the default style does, we changed it for \sc so that the title appears with small caps.

The result of the previous code can be found below:

latex thesis chapter style

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Guide to Writing Your Thesis in LaTeX

The bibliography and list of references.

The Graduate School requires a Bibliography which includes all the literature cited for the complete thesis or dissertation. Quoting from the Graduate School’s Guidelines for the Format of Theses and Dissertations :

“Every thesis in Standard Format must contain a Bibliography which lists all the sources used or consulted in writing the entire thesis and is placed at the very end of the work. The complete citations are arranged alphabetically by last name of the author. Individual citations are not numbered. No abbreviations in titles of published works will be accepted. The full title of a book, journal, website, proceedings, or any other published work must be italicized or underlined. Citations must follow standards set by the style manual that the student is using. The bibliography for URI theses is not broken into categories.”

The List of References is not required by the Graduate School, but is the style commonly used in Engineering, Mathematics, and many of the Sciences. It consists of a numbered list of the sources used or consulted in writing the thesis in the order that they are referenced in the text. There can be either one List of References for the entire thesis, or a List of References at the end of each chapter.

Both the Bibliography and the List of References will be generated by the urithesis LaTeX class. All you need to do is add information about your sources to the references.bib file, which is a database containing all of the necessary information about the references, then cite the reference in your thesis using the \cite{} command.

Generating the Bibliography and References

The bibliography and list of references are generated by running BibTeX. To generate the bibliography, load the file thesisbib.tex into your editor, then run BibTeX on it.

If each chapter has its own list of references, you will need to run BibTeX on each chapter to update its list of references. If there is one list of references for the whole thesis (because you used the oneref option, you will only need to run BibTeX on the top level file thesis.tex .

How to Add a Bibliography Entry

When we want to refer to a source in the thesis, we place an entry for that source in the file references.bib , then cite the source in the thesis with the \cite{LABEL} command. The syntax for an entry in the references.bib file is of the form:

ENTRYTYPE is the type of bibliographic entry such as Book , Article , or TechReport , that this entry describes. At the end of this page is a list of all possible entry types .

LABEL is a unique string that is used to refer to this entry in the body of the thesis when using the \cite{LABEL} command.

The FIELDNAMEn entries are the fields that describe this entry, (ie. author, title, pages, year, etc.). Each entry type has certain required fields and optional fields. See the list of all entry types for a description of the available fields.

As an example, suppose we have a paper from a conference proceedings that we want to cite. First we make an entry in the our references.bib file of the form:

We then cite this source in the text of our thesis with the command \cite{re:toolan:as03} . This will generate a Bibliography entry that looks something like:

and a List of References entry that looks something like:

Types of List of References

The Graduate School requires that the bibliography is always at the end of the thesis and sorted alphabetically by author, therefore there is no options that affect it. The list of references is optional, therefore there are a few different ways that it can created.

By default a separate list of references appears at the end of each chapter, and are sorted by the order that they are cited in that chapter. The option oneref (see options ) will create a single list of references for the whole thesis, which due to the requirements of the Graduate School, will appear after the last chapter and before any appendices.

The option aparefs will cite references using the APA style, which is the last name of the author and year of publication, such as (Toolan, 2006), instead of the default IEEE style, which is a number, such as [1]. This option will also sort the references alphabetically by author, instead of in order of citation. The options oneref and aparefs can be used together to create a single list of references using the APA style.

Supported Bibliography Entry Types

The following is a list of all the entry types that can be used. Click on the desired type to see a detailed description of how to use that type.

  • Article – An article from a journal or magazine
  • Book – A book with an explicit publisher
  • InBook – A part of a book, such as a chapter or selected page(s)
  • InCollection – A part of a book having its own title
  • Booklet – Printed and bound works that are not formally published
  • Manual – Technical documentation
  • InProceedings – An article in a conference proceedings
  • Proceedings – The entire proceedings of a conference
  • MastersThesis – A Master’s thesis
  • PhDThesis – A Ph.D. dissertation
  • TechReport – A report published by a school or other institution
  • Unpublished – A document that has not been formally published
  • Electronic – An internet reference like a web page
  • Patent – A patent or patent application
  • Periodical – A magazine or journal
  • Standard – Formally published standard
  • Misc – For use when nothing else fits

Articles that have not yet been published can be handled as a misc type with a note. Sometimes it is desirable to put extra information into the month field such as the day, or additional months. This is accomplished by using the BIBTEX concatenation operator “#“:

Example .bib using this type:

Books may have authors, editors or both. Example .bib using this type:

Inbook is used to reference a part of a book, such as a chapter or selected page(s). The type field can be used to override the word chapter (for which IEEE uses the abbreviation “ch.”) when the book uses parts, sections, etc., instead of chapters

Incollection is used to reference part of a book having its own title. Like book , incollection supports the series, chapter and pages fields. Also, the type field can be used to override the word chapter.

Booklet is used for printed and bound works that are not formally published. A primary difference between booklet and unpublished is that the former is/was distributed by some means. Booklet is rarely used in bibliographies.

Technical documentation is handled by the manual entry type.

References of papers in conference proceedings are handled by the inproceedings or conference entry type. These two types are functionally identical and can be used interchangeably. Example .bib using this type:

It is rare to need to reference an entire conference proceedings, but, if necessary, the proceedings entry type can be used to do so.

Master’s (or minor) theses can be handled with the mastersthesis entry type. The optional type field can be used to override the words “Master’s thesis” if a different designation is desired:

The phdthesis entry type is used for Ph.D. dissertations (major theses). Like mastersthesis , the type field can be used to override the default designation. Example .bib using this type:

Techreport is used for technical reports. The optional type field can be used to override the default designation “Tech. Rep.” Example .bib using this type:

The unpublished entry type is used for documents that have not been formally published. IEEE typically just uses “unpublished” for the required note field.

The electronic entry type is for internet references. IEEE formats electronic references differently by not using italics or quotes and separating fields with periods rather than commas. Also, the date is enclosed within parentheses and is placed closer to the title. This is probably done to emphasize that electronic references may not remain valid on the rapidly changing internet. Note also the liberal use of the howpublished field to describe the form or category of the entries. The organization and address fields may also be used. Example .bib using this type:

The nationality field provides a means to handle patents from different countries

The nationality should be capitalized. The assignee and address (of the assignee) fields are not used, however, they are provided. The type field provides a way to override the “patent” description with other patent related descriptions such as “patent application” or “patent request”:

The periodical entry type is used for journals and magazines.

The standard entry type is used for formally published standards. Alternatively, the misc entry type, along with its howpublished field, can be used to create references of standards.

Misc is the most flexible type and can be used when none of the other entry types are applicable. The howpublished field can be used to describe what exactly (or in what form) the reference is (or appears as). Possible applications include technical-report-like entries that lack an institution, white papers and data sheets.

Additional Comments

Because we are effectively creating multiple bibliographies, (one for the actual bibliography, and one for each list of references), the two LATEX commands \bibliographystyle{} and \bibliography{} are not used. They have been redefined to do nothing, and the equivalent of these commands are done automatically when necessary.

When there is a reference that should be included in the bibliography, but does not need to be explicitly referenced in the thesis, use the \nocite{} command. This command works like the \cite{} command, except it does not put the citation in the list of references, only in the bibliography. The \nocite{} command must appear after the first \newchapter{} command, or it will be ignored.

When using the option aparefs , and a citation does not have an author, (such as often occurs with a web page), the key field can be used to specify what to use in the citation instead of the author’s name.

About the Bibliography Format

The bibliography format used by the urithesis class is based on the IEEE format. See the article “How to Use the IEEEtran BIBTEX Style” by Michael Shell for more details.

An academic thesis, also known as a dissertation, is a substantial work produced by a graduate student to communicate their research and earn a degree. A thesis will typically include a review of the current state of research in the field of study followed by a central hypothesis to be investigated. The bulk of the thesis will then focus on the methods and results of the research performed, followed by a discussion on how the results add to the field in general. Theses are long, highly structured and include a lot of advanced document elements.

latex thesis chapter style

This template is designed for writing books and graduate-level theses and provides numerous examples and documentation to enable complex requirements. The design features a relatively narrow main text column with an adjacent wide margin to house notes, figures, tables, citations and captions.

  • View Template Information

Masters/Doctoral Thesis

This template provides a full framework for writing a graduate level thesis. It is carefully structured and separated into multiple parts for easy editing. Included are the following pages/sections: a cover page, declaration of authorship, quotation, abstract, acknowledgements, contents page(s), list of figures, list of tables, abbreviations, physical constants, symbols, dedication, example chapter, example appendix and bibliography.

Classicthesis Typographic Thesis

This template has been designed as a homage to the Elements of Typographic Style. As such, it has an air of efficiency and optimal design. It is suitable for any high-level degree thesis such as for a PhD, Masters or Honors. Sections within the thesis are clearly separated in a consistent way, as are sections within each chapter. The default structure of the thesis proceeds in the following order: title page, dedication, abstract, publications, acknowledgements, contents, list of tables/figures/listings, acronyms, content chapters, appendices, bibliography, colophon and declaration.

Maggi Memoir Thesis

This template uses the memoir document class to beautifully typeset a thesis. It is suitable for any high-level degree thesis such as for a PhD, Masters or Honors. The layout of the content is in a thin format to promote easy reading and the template features advanced specification of margins and trimming. The thesis boasts a professional look which is immediately obvious from the title page itself and carries through the design of the rest of the document. Three custom fonts are used in the template to match the design and beautifully display your content.

latex thesis chapter style

LaTeX Templates Information

General enquiries [email protected]

Most templates licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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Template for a Masters or Doctoral Thesis

This LaTeX template is used by many universities as the basis for thesis and dissertation submissions, and is a great way to get started if you haven't been provided with a specific version from your department.

This version of the template is provided by Vel at LaTeXTemplates.com , and is already loaded in Overleaf so you can start writing immediately.

Checkout this short video to see how to easily create and edit new chapters as your thesis develops.

Please read the unofficial quick guide to the template; it contains some tips and suggestions on how to modify certain things.

(Updated 27/08/17)

Template for a Masters or Doctoral Thesis

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  1. Latex Chapter Title Format

    latex thesis chapter style

  2. Basic Structure

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    latex thesis chapter style

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  1. sectioning

    \chapter {OVERVIEW} This is the opening paragraph to my thesis which explains in general terms the concepts and hypothesis \section {Introduction} Here initial concepts and conditions are explained and \subsection {Hypothesis} Here one particular hypothesis is explained PLEASE SUGGEST. sectioning chapters thesis Share

  2. How to Write a Thesis in LaTeX (Part 1): Basic Structure

    How to Write a Thesis in LaTeX (Part 1): Basic Structure Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Author: Josh Cassidy (August 2013) This five-part series of articles uses a combination of video and textual descriptions to teach the basics of writing a thesis using LaTeX.

  3. Sections and chapters

    LaTeX can organize, number, and index chapters and sections of document. There are up to 7 levels of depth for defining sections depending on the document class: Usually, \section is the top-level document command in most documents. However, in reports or books, and similar long documents, this would be \chapter or \part .

  4. PDF Writing a thesis with LATEX

    Managing a complex document, such as a book or a thesis, can be complicated and so it is advisable to divide it into several files. LATEX lets you work with several files, but a main file should control them with \include or \input com-mands. On the one hand, the \input{filename} command can be used to call a file.

  5. Writing a thesis in LaTeX

    Writing a thesis in LaTeX 8. June 2012 by tom 16 Comments Writing a thesis is a time-intensive endeavor. Fortunately, using LaTeX, you can focus on the content rather than the formatting of your thesis.

  6. How to get started writing your thesis in LaTeX

    Here we provide a guide to getting started on writing your thesis in LaTeX, using a standard template which is pre-loaded into Overleaf. We have a large number of thesis templates in our online library, and you can upload your own if your university provides a set of LaTeX template files.

  7. Formatting in LaTeX

    The thesis style template for LaTeX ( ut-thesis) implements these requirements. You are not required to use the template, but using it will make most of the formatting requirements easier to meet. Thesis template for LaTeX. LaTeX Help Below are some general formatting tips for drafting your thesis in LaTeX.

  8. Fancy LaTeX chapter styles

    1 2 3 4 \documentclass{report} \begin{document} \chapter{Default Chapter Heading} \end{document} Package titlesec The titlesec package allows basic changes to the standard chapter style, including setting the font style and size or placement of the title.

  9. PDF LATEX Thesis Class for University of Colorado

    All the prologue pages of the thesis (everything before chapter 1) are generated by LATEX using the information you type in the prologue commands (§2). The style options (§3) for thesis class allow you to choose from among some permitted variations in the look of your thesis, especially how headings are formatted and numbered.

  10. Chapter and section style in latex thesis

    With a KOMA-Script class you can change the chapter number format redefining \chapterformat, e.g., using \renewcommand* {\chapterformat} {\colorbox {red} {\textcolor {white} {\thechapter}}\enskip}. There are also commands for other section levels and \chapterlinesformat and \sectionlinesformat for advanced changes.

  11. How to Write a Thesis in LaTeX (Part 2): Page Layout

    By default, the headers all contain the chapter and section titles: If you're happy with this layout you can leave it like this. However, I'm going to show you how you can customise it using two commands provided by the fancyhdr package: \fancyhead and \fancyfoot.

  12. Your Guide to Fancy Chapters in LaTeX

    The default chapter style First, let's take a look at the default LaTeX chapter style, and see how the macro \chapter can be used. As we can see in the following image, the output it produces basically consists of the word "Chapter" in a large and bold font, followed by the number of the chapter and, in a new line, its name.

  13. Guide to Writing Your Thesis in LaTeX

    Guide to Writing Your Thesis in LaTeX: Bibliography - College of Engineering Guide to Writing Your Thesis in LaTeX The Bibliography and List of References The Graduate School requires a Bibliography which includes all the literature cited for the complete thesis or dissertation.

  14. How to Write a Thesis in LaTeX (Part 5): Customising Your ...

    In the previous post we looked at adding a bibliography to our thesis using the biblatex package.In this, the final post of the series, we're going to look at customising some of the opening pages. In the first video we made a rather makeshift title page using the \maketitle command and by using an \includegraphics command in the \title command. Although this works, it doesn't give us as much ...

  15. LaTeX Templates

    The default structure of the thesis proceeds in the following order: title page, dedication, abstract, publications, acknowledgements, contents, list of tables/figures/listings, acronyms, content chapters, appendices, bibliography, colophon and declaration. View Template Information Maggi Memoir Thesis

  16. Basic thesis template

    This Thesis LaTeX template is an ideal starting point for writing your PhD thesis, masters dissertation or final year project. The style is appropriate for most universities, and can be easily customised.

  17. Template for a Masters or Doctoral Thesis

    Abstract. This LaTeX template is used by many universities as the basis for thesis and dissertation submissions, and is a great way to get started if you haven't been provided with a specific version from your department. This version of the template is provided by Vel at LaTeXTemplates.com, and is already loaded in Overleaf so you can start ...