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2.3 Inserting chapters, sections, etc.

Insertion of sectioning macros, that is ‘\chapter’, ‘\section’, ‘\subsection’, etc. and accompanying ‘\label’’s may be eased by using C-c C-s. This command is highly customizable, the following describes the default behavior.

When invoking you will be asked for a section macro to insert. An appropriate default is automatically selected by AUCTeX, that is either: at the top of the document; the top level sectioning for that document style, and any other place: The same as the last occurring sectioning command.

Next, you will be asked for the actual name of that section, and last you will be asked for a label to be associated with that section. The label will be prefixed by the value specified in LaTeX-section-hook.

Command: LaTeX-section arg

(C-c C-s) Insert a sectioning command.

Determine the type of section to be inserted, by the argument arg.

The following variables can be set to customize the function.


Hooks to be run when inserting a section.


Prefix to all section references.

The precise behavior of LaTeX-section is defined by the contents of LaTeX-section-hook.

User Option: LaTeX-section-hook

List of hooks to run when a new section is inserted.

The following variables are set before the hooks are run


Numeric section level, default set by prefix arg to LaTeX-section.


Name of the sectioning command, derived from LaTeX-level.


The title of the section, default to an empty string.


Entry for the table of contents list, default nil.


Position of point afterwards, default nil meaning after the inserted text.

A number of hooks are already defined. Most likely, you will be able to get the desired functionality by choosing from these hooks.


Query the user about the name of the sectioning command. Modifies LaTeX-level and LaTeX-name.


Query the user about the title of the section. Modifies LaTeX-title.


Query the user for the toc entry. Modifies LaTeX-toc.


Insert LaTeX section command according to LaTeX-name, LaTeX-title, and LaTeX-toc. If LaTeX-toc is nil, no toc entry is inserted. If LaTeX-toc or LaTeX-title are empty strings, LaTeX-done-mark will be placed at the point they should be inserted.


Insert a label after the section command. Controlled by the variable LaTeX-section-label.

To get a full featured LaTeX-section command, insert

(setq LaTeX-section-hook

in your init file such as ‘init.el’ or ‘.emacs’.

The behavior of LaTeX-section-label is determined by the variable LaTeX-section-label.

User Option: LaTeX-section-label

Default prefix when asking for a label.

If it is a string, it is used unchanged for all kinds of sections. If it is nil, no label is inserted. If it is a list, the list is searched for a member whose car is equal to the name of the sectioning command being inserted. The cdr is then used as the prefix. If the name is not found, or if the cdr is nil, no label is inserted.

By default, chapters have a prefix of ‘cha:’ while sections and subsections have a prefix of ‘sec:’. Labels are not automatically inserted for other types of sections.

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