I would like to have \alph{counter} for values larger than 26. The following MnWE gives me the error ! LaTeX Error: Counter too large.


\item twenty-five
\item twenty-six
\item twenty-seven


I would like it to behave like one of these:

..., x, y, z, aa, bb, cc, ..., xx, yy, zz, aaa, bbb, ccc, ... (preferred)
..., x, y, z, aa, ab, ac, ..., ax, ay, az, ba,  bb,  bc,  ... (can be if nothing else works)

A solution without LaTeX3 extensions would be awesome as I cannot run LaTeX3 extensions.

  • 5
    Look at the alphalph package. – egreg Apr 19 '12 at 16:09
  • @egreg Great! Would you like to extend it into an answer or should I post the answer as CW? – yo' Apr 19 '12 at 16:25

The alphalph package by H. Oberdiek provides the second numbering system out of the box. As usual with Heiko's packages, a counter representation such as


is completely expandable.

And, as you remark in comments, with


you get your preferred way. Of course, replace section with the counter you need.

  • For new kinds of symbol wrapping, see this question: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/37447/… – Seamus Apr 19 '12 at 16:33
  • There is a way in the package you mention, it is \newalphalph{\@aalph}[mult]{\@alph}{26} \def\aalph#1{\@aalph{\value{#1}}} ;) – yo' Apr 19 '12 at 16:38
  • @egreg How do you get this to work with enumitem package. I do not want to create a question because I have seen another one and it has been closed due to the same reason. – azetina Mar 20 '13 at 19:36
  • @azetina I don't think this fits in the \AddEnumerateCounter scheme of enumitem. – egreg Mar 20 '13 at 20:22

Should you happen to use biblatex for your bibliography, you may use its \mknumalph macro for counter values up to 702 ("zz").



% Everything from here to \begin{document} only serves to avoid biber errors

  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Alpha},




\item twenty-five
\item twenty-six
\item twenty-seven


enter image description here

  • Why do you mention "biber errors"? You don't need to run biber ;-) – Marco Daniel Apr 19 '12 at 18:46
  • 1
    Tell that latexmk. ;-) – lockstep Apr 19 '12 at 18:47
  • 1
    Use arara ;-) – Marco Daniel Apr 19 '12 at 18:48

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