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I want to make a section for symbols and special notation, which should look like this:

enter image description here

What would you suggest in doing this? Should I just do like a table and create an array of 3 columns?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You could use the glossaries package; a little example:


\newglossary{symbols}{sym}{sbl}{List of Abbreviations and Symbols}

description={Empirical (sample) distribution function}}
description={$n$-fold convolution of the distribution function/distribution $F$}}





enter image description here

The document must be processed using, for example, (pdf)latex + makeglossaries + (pdf)latex. Refer to the package documentation to see all the possibilities it offers.

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what's the difference between a nomenclature and a glossary? – pluton May 7 '12 at 4:14
@pluton: A nomenclature, like, for example, a list of acronyms, can be considered a special case of a glossary. The glossaries package provides generic function for different types of "list of things" and references to them, in contrast to single-purpose packages like, for example, acronym or nomentbl. – Brent.Longborough May 7 '12 at 10:02
How do I mark the entries in the glossar? do I put \gls{fn} in the line where I have F_n? – Chris May 24 '12 at 5:54
@Chris I don't understand what you mean with "mark the entries". Please explain with more detail. – Gonzalo Medina May 24 '12 at 15:36
Well, I have to tell latex where the symbol is in my source code. Do I tag it by putting \gls{name} in the code line where this symbol arises? – Chris May 24 '12 at 16:23

Is it a nomenclature? Then you can use nomentbl package for this.


\renewcommand{\nomname}{List of Abbreviations and Symbols}
\renewcommand{\nompreamble}{Following symbols are used in the present work:}

This is $F$\label{nomen:F} \nomenclature[EF]{$F$}{Objective function}{}{\pageref{nomen:F}}
This is $ND\_SNK$\label{nomen:ND} \nomenclature[EN]{$ND\_SNK$}{Total number of load buses in sink area}{}{\pageref{nomen:ND}}
This is $P_{Gi}$\label{nomen:Gi} \nomenclature[EP]{$P_{Gi}$}{Real power generation at bus $i$}{MW}{\pageref{nomen:Gi}}


By using a label and hyperref the page numbers can be turned into clickage links.

enter image description here

This has to be compiled with pdflatex. And then, you have to run makeindex.exe -s nomentbl.ist -t "doi.nlg" -o "doi.nls" "doi.nlo", where doi is the name of your .tex (doi.tex) file. And, agian you have to run pdflatex ondoi.tex`.

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Perhaps you meant nomentbl or nomencl? (I didn't find any nomentable package on CTAN). – Gonzalo Medina May 7 '12 at 2:26
@GonzaloMedina: yes, it is nomentbl. I have corrected it. Thanks – Harish Kumar May 7 '12 at 4:04
@Harish Kumar: I copied your example and the output is the same as what you displayed. However, the hyperlinks all points towards first page. Do you know what might cause this behaviour? Did they work for you? – Alfred M. Sep 27 '12 at 19:03
@AlfredM. You have to use a (phantom)section. I have updated the code. Pl, try now. – Harish Kumar Sep 27 '12 at 22:43
@Harish Kumar:works well with the sections. Thank you. – Alfred M. Sep 28 '12 at 5:12

Here's a simple way:


$N(\mu, \sum)$ & multivariate Gaussian (normal) distribution with mean   vector $\mu$
and covariance matrix $\sum$ & $1$\\
$M_n$ & maximum of $X_1$, $X_2$, \ldots, $X_n$ & $14$\\
$I_A$ & indicator function of the set $A$ & $175$\\

The arguments like p{1.75cm} tell you how wide the column is. If the information is too long, as in the first line (2nd column), it overflows to the second line.

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Introducing the page numbers by hand is error-prone. – Gonzalo Medina May 7 '12 at 3:33
From the 2nd question of the post I thought the problem to be solved was the dramatic difference in the spacing of the columns and the fact that some descriptions continued to the next line. – DJP May 7 '12 at 4:01
The page numbers can be inserted with \pageref. – Chris May 26 '12 at 9:41

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