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How can I make the first subsection under a section start on "d"? I currently have the following code to get a,b,c,d...:

\renewcommand{\thesubsection}{\alph{subsection}}

and I tried this to make it start on "d":

\setcounter{\thesubsection}{4}

but that did not work.

Ideas?

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Since you have some responses below that seem to answer your question, please consider marking one of them as ‘Accepted’ by clicking on the tickmark below their vote count. This shows which answer helped you most, and it assigns reputation points to the author of the answer (and to you!). –  Martin Scharrer Mar 29 '11 at 11:14
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2 Answers

that should be:

\setcounter{subsection}{3}
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There are two things at play here. Counters and their representation. The representation does not need to be numbers, could be letters or a series of symbols.

You need \setcounter{<countername>}{<value>}

Next remember that \subsection increases the subsection counter, thus \setcounter{subsection}{3} will give you a d next time \subsection is executed

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Thank you guys! I also made the error to put the \setcounter{}{} in the preamble and not directly in the code. Works great now! –  user4506 Mar 28 '11 at 19:04
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Remember that the section counters are usually dominated by the level above, i.e. if the section counter is increaded via \stepcounter as it is in \section, then the subsection counter is reset to zero. –  daleif Mar 28 '11 at 21:56
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