Creating a list of acronyms (or glossary) is a three stage process (at least):
- Typeset the document using LaTeX (or PDFLaTeX or XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX, as appropriate)
- Run the
makeglossaries Perl script or the
makeglossaries-lite Lua script.
- Typeset the document again.
(You may need to repeat step 3.) Every time you modify the document in a way that alters the list (for example, adding or deleting instances of
\gls, or removing or inserting text that results in a change in the associated page numbers) then you need to repeat all three steps in order to update the list.
\makeglossaries in your document creates some glossary-related files (
.acn) and each time you use commands like
\gls an entry is added to the relevant file when the document is typeset (in step 1).
In step 2 a special indexing application is run that reads in those glossary-related files and writes another file (
.acr) with the LaTeX code required to typeset the glossary or list of acronyms. This file is then input in your document in step 3.
Step 2 causes the most confusion as it requires running a command line script. However, most front-ends have a button or menu item you can click that will run the script for you. Most front-ends need to be configured to run
makeglossaries-lite. The following TeX.SE answers provide instructions for integrating
makeglossaries on various front-ends.
For WinEdt, have a look at the comp.text.tex thread Executing Glossaries' makeindex from a WinEdt macro.
For other front-ends, see Incorporating makeglossaries or makeglossaries-lite or bib2gls into the document build.
In each of the above cases, you need to have Perl installed if you use
makeglossaries (but not
makeglossaries-lite) or if you want to use
xindy instead of the default
makeglossaries-lite is a Lua script, you should already have a Lua interpreter if you have a modern TeX distribution with LuaTeX. If you want to use
makeglossaries-lite instead, you should just be able to replace all references to
makeglossaries-lite, although it has fewer options and doesn't provide diagnostic tools, so it's not as useful if things go wrong. (Note that
makeglossaries-lite was added to
glossaries version 4.16, so it won't be available for older versions.)
Another possibility if you are having difficulty with step 2 is to add the package option
glossaries version 4.08.) This will try to get TeX to run the external applications (step 3 is still required) but this won't work if the shell escape is disabled. This option also won't work with
xindy in the restricted mode, since
xindy isn't on the list of trusted applications.¹ With both
automake, you would need the less secure unrestricted mode, which I don't recommend for security reasons.
Alternatively, there's a GUI approach that uses Java rather than Perl. See also What can interfere with glossaries to prevent printing?
¹This is the case with TeX Live. I don't know about MiKTeX.