In my article, I would like to create a section "Mathematical Notation" that lists all the arcane mathematical symbols I'm using.

This is similar to an index or a list of figures. An example of what I have in mind is given by the section "Standard Notations" in the following book.

I'm not aware of a standard way to do create such a list, however. Any recommendations?

Disambiguation: I'm not asking for a list of mathematical symbols and their LaTeX counterparts. Not that Google would listen to me.

  • 2
    If it's similar to an index, it's going to be alphabetized by entry. If it's similar to a list of figures, it's going to be ordered by appearance in the manuscript. Hatcher's list is neither. Are you sure you want to do this programmatically? A table will probably do the trick. Mar 15, 2011 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


You could use the comprehensive glossaries package, it's the successor of the glossary package by the same author.

nomencl is a good alternative.

There are further packages for this purpose, such as glosstex (related to nomencl) and gloss (using BibTeX).


That looks like something closely analogous to the description environment, which I imagine would serve your purposes admirably.

For something a little fancier, you could put it into a tabular inside a table (potentially using booktabs) which is what I'm using right now for a table of acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms:

a table of acronyms


The benefit being that your nomenclature and corresponding meanings are clearly delimited, which is not the case in the book you referred to.

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    Note that unless you use something like supertabular, this method will not break the table across pages.
    – ESultanik
    Mar 15, 2011 at 13:08
  • Thanks, I ended up using a plain tabular environment. I will accept the other answer, though, since this is the answer I originally sought. Mar 17, 2011 at 11:03

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