I have a counter called LCount, which I want to use in some text, and i would like to be able to reference numbers that are relative to that counter. for example, I would like this LaTeX code:

For the regular languages:
&L_\theLCount = L((a|b^*)cc^*a^*(c|b^*)^*)\\\stepcounter{LCount}
&L_\theLCount = L(ac^*c(a^*|b)^*)\stepcounter{LCount}
If $L_\theLCount = L_{\theLCount-2} \cap L_{\theLCount-1}$, then:

to render like this:

enter image description here

if LCount has an initial value of 2. Is there a way of doing this? Should I be using something different other than counters? I know i can use \addtocounter a bunch of times and make the final line:

If $L_\theLCount = \addtocounter{LCount}{-2} L_\theLCount \cap \addtocounter{LCount}{1} L_\theLCount$\stepcounter{LCount}, then:    

but that seems really clumsy and inefficient. Is there a better way?


2 Answers 2


You can do something like this:

$$L_\theL = L_\nextL + L_\nextL$$
and now:
$$L_\refL{-2} = L_\refL{-1} + L_\theL$$

I.e. use temporal counter.


An option is to use the standard way of \refstepcounter:

For the regular languages:
    L_\theLCount = L((a|b^*)cc^*a^*(c|b^*)^*)
    L_\theLCount = L(ac^*c(a^*|b)^*)
If $L_\theLCount = L_{\ref{first}} \cap L_{\ref{second}}$, then:    

But beware that there will be problems (worth another question, I think) with amsmath and the counters used for equation numbering.

Output in standard article class

(BTW, post a complete MWE next time...)

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