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I created a quick manual list of figures using some code from a previous answer but I can't get it to align properly. The second part will jump a few characters backwards and forwards making it look funny.

\nonumchap{List of Symbols}
\newcommand{\tab}[1]{\hspace{.2\textwidth}\rlap{#1}}

E \tab{Young's Modulus [MPa]}

F \tab{Force [N]}

$f_n$ \tab{Natural Frequency [Hz]}

I \tab{Moment of Inertia [m$^4$]}

k \tab{Spring Constant [N/m]}

L \tab{Length [m]}

m \tab{mass [kg]}

t \tab{thickness [m]}

V \tab{Volume [m$^3$]}
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Why not use a table instead. Then you do not have to worry so much about the width of the left column –  daleif Jun 12 at 8:23
    
Also you ought to use the siunitx to format the units. –  daleif Jun 12 at 8:24
    
that is of course possibly a very easy way to do it :P –  MikeFoxtrot Jun 12 at 8:24
    
Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. –  Christian Hupfer Jun 12 at 8:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted
% arara: pdflatex 

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage{siunitx}

\begin{document}
\chapter*{List of Symbols}
\begin{tabbing}
\hspace*{2.5cm}\= \kill % adapt this length to your needs!
$E$ \> Young's Modulus in \si{\mega\pascal} \\
$F$ \> Force in N \\
$f_\mathrm{n}$ \> Natural Frequency in Hz\\
$I$ \> Moment of Inertia in \si{\metre^4} \\
k \> Spring Constant in \si{\newton\per\metre} \\
$L$ \> Length in m \\
$m$ \> Mass in kg \\
$t$ \> Thickness in m \\
$V$ \> Volume in \si{\cubic\metre}
\end{tabbing}
or maybe even nicer:
\begin{tabbing}
\hspace*{2.5cm}\= \hspace{4.5cm}\= \kill
$E$ \> Young's Modulus \> \si{\mega\pascal} \\
$F$ \> Force \> N \\
$f_\mathrm{n}$ \> Natural Frequency \> Hz\\
$I$ \> Moment of Inertia \> \si{\metre^4} \\
k \> Spring Constant \> \si{\newton\per\metre} \\
$L$ \> Length \> m \\
$m$ \> Mass \> kg \\
$t$ \> Thickness \> m \\
$V$ \> Volume \> \si{\cubic\metre}
\end{tabbing}
\end{document}

enter image description here

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1  
awesome, especially the second one :) –  MikeFoxtrot Jun 12 at 9:03
    
@MikeFoxtrot Good to hear. You should reduce the horizontal width in order to facilitate the reading. And of course, for the next time, you should have a look on real nomenclature or glossary packages which do the sorting and formatting for you. Happy TeXing! –  LaRiFaRi Jun 12 at 9:05
\documentclass{report}
\usepackage{amsmath,tabularx}
\usepackage{siunitx}

\begin{document}
\section*{List of Symbols}
\noindent
\begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{@{} l X @{}}
$E$  &  Young's Modulus in \si{\mega\pascal} \\
$F$  &  Force in N \\
$f_\text{n}$  &  Natural Frequency in Hz\\
$I$  &  Moment of Inertia in \si{\metre^4} \\
k    &  Spring Constant in \si{\newton\per\metre} \\
$L$  &  Length in m \\
$m$  &  Mass in kg \\
$t$  &  thickness in m and this text can be really long it will automatically be broken
        into lines\\
$V$  &  Volume in \si{\cubic\metre}
\end{tabularx}

\bigskip\noindent
\begin{tabularx}{0.6\linewidth}{@{} l X l @{}}
$E$  &  Young's Modulus            & \si{\mega\pascal} \\
$F$  &  Force                      & \si{\newton} \\
$f_\text{n}$  &  Natural Frequency & \si{hz}\\
$I$  &  Moment of Inertia          & \si{\metre^4} \\
k    &  Spring Constant            & \si{\newton\per\metre} \\
$L$  &  Length                     & \si{\metre} \\
$m$  &  Mass                       & \si{\kilo\gram} \\
$t$  &  thickness and this text can be really 
        long it will automatically be broken
        into lines                 & \si{\metre}\\
$V$  &  Volume                     & \si{\cubic\metre}
\end{tabularx}
\end{document}

enter image description here

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