When I quote from the docs, I use <blockquote>
The auto-increment operator has a little extra builtin magic to it. If you increment a variable that is numeric, or that has ever been used in a numeric context, you get a normal increment. If, however, the variable has been used in only string contexts since it was set, and has a value that is not the empty string and matches the pattern /^[a-zA-Z]*[0-9]*\z/ , the increment is done as a string, preserving each character within its range, with carry:
It autoscales the width nicely.