I'm using documentclass{article}. I have symbols, both in inline text and inside equations. How can I automate the process of listing them?

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! What do you mean? Maybe you want a List of Symbols somewhere in your document? Jan 17, 2014 at 15:25
  • thanks a lot karl :) yeah so the idea is I have written down my thesis, with text and equations and now I need to make a List of Variables (I've called them symbols in my title) alongside Table of Contents, List of Figures and List of Tables. I want to know if it's possible to automate this process i.e. I want a list of variables without having to scan through the whole thesis and manual it down, instead pinning them all down in a list/table (other column for naming), possibly along with the code line number used in (to know of redundancies if any, which will be removed after cross-check)
    – hrishi1990
    Jan 17, 2014 at 15:45
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    Something like the nomencl package? Jan 17, 2014 at 16:05
  • sorry, I still have a doubt ctan.imsc.res.in/macros/latex/contrib/nomencl/nomencl.pdf in page 2, last two paragraphs and the next one on the next page. Can you explain?
    – hrishi1990
    Jan 18, 2014 at 10:45
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    If your file is called yourfile.tex you have to run makeindex -s nomencl.ist -t yourfile.nlg -o yourfile.nls yourfile.nlo but I don't use TeXStudio so I don't know how to set it there. You can always run that command from the command line. Jan 18, 2014 at 11:15

2 Answers 2


I suggest you to use the glossaries package. It is very customizable and provides you with a lot of control. Furthermore, if you need to add a glossary, or a list of acronyms, you don't need other packages, because glossaries handles all this elements.

It has a specific symbols option to create a list of symbols.

With the command \gls{} (and its many variants, like \glssymbol, particulalry suited for thi case) you can display the symbol (and possible meaning) inline (the command has many variants). Instead, with \glsadd{} you can make a symbol appear in the list of symbols even if you haven't used it explicitly.

In addition, this answer (provided by the very author of the package, btw) explains how to reference symbols within a mathematical environment.

Following this approach, I'm currently editing a set of documents with a list of acronyms, a list of symbols (to be used in math mode), and a glossary. All with the same package, which is nice!

Addendum: don't be frightened by the large user manual. There is glossariesbegin as a starter guide; but if you want to master your lists, better to face the complete user manual.


You can use the nomencl package for mathematical symbols. See this as an example.

Also the acronym package is very powerful, see this example. Wich acronym you can do not only abbreviations but also math.

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