So I'm writing this summary for a lecture and I am using itemize a lot. The problem I get now is the two times the error (NB: \bi is my alias for \begin{itemize})

     ! LaTeX Error: Too deeply nested.

     See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
     Type  H <return>  for immediate help.

     l.10 \bi


I know that itemize can go four layers deep but in all my document I never go deeper than 2 levels.
To try to find the error I also separated the document and made a single file for each chapter and included them in the main document. I'm now 99.9% sure that I didn't make any error with nesting but since the error remains I'm a bit desperate.

So I ask you, what I should look for when having that error?
Are there other mistakes that could create this error?

  • 4
    Hiding LaTeX's environment syntax by making it into a declaration resp. command is not the best idea. Perhaps you forgot \end{itemize}.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Jan 27, 2012 at 10:51
  • 2
    Try to provide a Minimal (non-)working example (shortest possible code that generates the error). Without that, we can hardly be helpful in this situation, especially as it is related to some user-defined macros.
    – yo'
    Jan 27, 2012 at 10:52
  • So I found the error. I'm not sure if thats widely known (and I should have known) but here it goes: At the start of every chapter I wrote a little abstract with the outline of the chapter. I did that with \abstract{Here I wrote my stuff}. Now apparently this opens some sort of nesting and after 4 chapters when I used a 2 level nested itemize I was finally too deeply nested. When I replaced \abstract{text} with \begin{abstract} text \end{abstract} It works now. Trying to get a minimal (non-)working example lead me to the solution, so thanks for helping me :)
    – Philipp
    Jan 27, 2012 at 11:23
  • 5
    There's no \abstract command with an argument, but rather an abstract environment, in the standard classes. It's a nuisance that some classes prefer to define an \abstract command with an argument, making documents not portable between classes and confusing users.
    – egreg
    Jan 27, 2012 at 11:41


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