Using an alphabetical counter in arabic by the command \alph, it gives for the first letter of alphabet the arabic letter ا which is not so "beautiful" to use... I want to use the letter أ instead of this letter. How can I change the first letter of the counter \alph?

I write an ECM for this question



\newfontfamily\arabicfont[Script=Arabic,Scale=1.2,AutoFakeSlant=-0.02]{Traditional Arabic}
\setsansfont[Script=Arabic,Scale=1.5]{Traditional Arabic}

\tikzstyle{boxwhite} =
    [draw=white, thick, scale=.7, fill=white,% 
    line width=0.3pt, text=black, rectangle,
    left, minimum height=.5cm]

\newtcolorbox[auto counter, 
number within=section,
number freestyle={\noexpand\arabic{section}\noexpand\alph{\tcbcounter}}]{example}[2][]{%
enlarge top by=\baselineskip/2+1mm,
enlarge top at break by=0mm,pad at break=2mm,
overlay unbroken and first={%
at ([xshift=1.6cm,yshift=-2.5mm]frame.north east)
width=\textwidth,       %%% change the width here.
arc=0pt,outer arc=0pt,

\LR{Example one.}
\LR{Example two.}
\LR{Example three.}

which gives this..

enter image description here

The first number 1ا , using the first letter of alphabet, is not beautiful for me. I prefer this one 1أ with the letter أ , using "another" first letter of alphabet. How can I change it...only for the first letter..

  • 1
    This depends on several factors. Can you add a minimal example of code?
    – egreg
    Nov 28, 2014 at 17:08
  • 1
    Could you supply the entire alphabetic numbering sequence?
    – Werner
    Nov 28, 2014 at 17:08
  • 2
    And off-topic: Please accept the answers to many of your questions... so much effort by other users here...
    – user31729
    Nov 28, 2014 at 17:09
  • I'll try to do but I don't understand very well the way of that... Thanks Nov 28, 2014 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


Here's a minimal example; the package enumitem is loaded just to have an application of \alph, the important code you have to add is


% patch \abj@num@i@iso

Maybe some other macros where ا appears should be changed in a similar way (let us know). I use the ^^^^ notation just for convenience, as I'm not used to RTL editors. I use Scheherazade because I don't have your font, but it shouldn't matter.



\usepackage{enumitem} % for showing \alph


% patch \abj@num@i@iso


\item \LR{Example one.}
\item \LR{Example two.}
\item \LR{Example three.}

enter image description here

  • Ok your answer is what I wanted. Thanks. But there is a problem connected.. using the command \setenumerate[0]{label=\textbf{\small(\Alph*)},align=left,leftmargin=0pt,labelwidth=-5pt,itemsep=0pt} the enumeration changes by the same in the first item, ا by أ. How can we have not this for enumerate ? Nov 28, 2014 at 20:08
  • @FaouziBellalouna There's no difference in Arabic between uppercase and lowercase, so \Alph and \alph do exactly the same thing.
    – egreg
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:52
  • yes I know..because there's no capital letters in arabic...Your solution is acceptable for me at all. I'll use it thks Nov 28, 2014 at 21:22

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