2.8.1 Mandatory Arguments

Mandatory (or compulsory) arguments are arguments that have to be specified.


  1. If you want a footnote, you need to use the \footnote command, which has a mandatory argument that specifies the contents of the footnote. Like this:

    Here is a footnote.\footnote{This is the footnote text.}

  2. If you want to start a new chapter, you need to use the \chapter command, but you also need to tell LaTeX the title of this new chapter. So the \chapter command takes one mandatory argument that specifies the title.

    For example, the following code:

    \chapter{Some Definitions}

    was used to generate the heading for the definitions chapter of this document.

  3. The command \textbf typesets its argument in a bold font (as opposed to the declaration \bfseries which switches to a bold font.)

    For example, the following code:

    \textbf{Some bold text.}

    produces the output

    Some bold text. (All the text is in bold.)


  1. LaTeX takes the first non-space object following the command name as the argument, which is why in the above examples the arguments have to be grouped.

    Suppose the last example above didn't have a group, so instead the code was:

    \textbf Some bold text.

    then only the “S” would be the argument because it's the first object following the command, in which case the output would look like:

    Some bold text. (Only the letter S is bold.)

  2. If you want the argument to be blank, use empty braces: {}. For example, suppose you want to have a chapter without a title2.4 you would need to do:



... title2.4
The numbers for chapters, sections etc are automatically inserted by LaTeX, so this example would produce a numbered chapter without a title.

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