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Iso 2145

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Title: Iso 2145  
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Subject: ISO 3166, List of style guides, ISO 39001, ISO 8000, (13037) Potosi
Collection: Iso Standards, Typography
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Iso 2145

International standard ISO 2145 defines a typographic convention for the "numbering of divisions and subdivisions in written documents". It applies to any kind of document, including manuscripts, books, journal articles, and standards.


  • Description 1
  • Example 2
  • Citations 3
  • Support in word processing software 4
  • References 5


The ISO 2145 numbering scheme is defined by the following rules:

  • The main divisions are numbered continuously starting from 1.
  • Each main division (first level) can be divided further into subdivisions (second level), which are equally continuously numbered. This can be continued for further levels of subdivision.
  • A full stop is placed between numbers that designate subdivisions of different levels. No full stop is placed after the number that designates the final subdivision.


A table of contents might look like:

0 Foreword
1 Introduction
2 Methodology
2.1 Counting techniques
2.1.1 Manual procedures  Counting apples Counting oranges
2.1.2 Automatic methods
2.2 Quality control
3 Results
4 Related work
4.1 Bean counting
4.2 Sheep counting
5 Conclusions


Division and subdivision numbers are cited in written text as in:

  • … in chapter 4 …
  • … as lemma 3.4.27 shows …
  • … the 3rd paragraph in …

In spoken language, the full stops are omitted:

  • "… in chapter four …"
  • "… as lemma three four twenty-seven shows …"
  • "… the third paragraph in two four one seven …"

Support in word processing software

  • All standard LaTeX document classes generate chapter, section, subsection, figure, table, etc. numbers exactly as defined by ISO 2145.
  • As of 2003, all Microsoft Word versions are by default set up to add a full stop after the final section number. This does not conform to ISO 2145; however, users can change settings to conform to the ISO standard.


  • International Standard ISO 2145:1978, Documentation — Numbering of divisions and subdivisions in written documents. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva.
  • British Standard BS 5848:1980, Specification for numbering of divisions and subdivisions in written documents (point-numbering).
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