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I am interested in creating a list of variables or other symbols that I want to be able to customize myself, and therefore I am not interested in packages like glossary or nomenclature. I have no idea how to do this other than with a table so I wrote the following piece of code:

\newcolumntype{K}[1]{>{\flushleft}m{#1}}
{\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{0.1}
\begin{tabular}[t]{ K{12mm} K{3mm} K{120mm} }
$L_f$ & & Monetary value of the damage caused by a hazard (fire, theft...), against which insurance coverage can be taken up. \tabularnewline
$p_f$ & & Probability of occurrence of that hazard.\tabularnewline
$p_d$ & & Probability that the insurer defaults/does not settle its claims.\tabularnewline
$X_0$ & & Position of the initial endowment of the decision-maker.\tabularnewline
$D$ & & Deductible level of a partial insurance contract
\end{tabular}

and this is what it yields: enter image description here

However, I am struggling to find a way to : vertically allign the text on top (and if possible justify it), reduce the interlign spacing, and interrow spacing. By the way, for some reason:

{\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{0.1}

does not work for me!

Here's an overview of the outcome I would like to have:

enter image description here

Thank you for your kind help.

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You do not have to redefine your own column style for this - it is already defined in tabular environment as p{column_width}. Also if you do not have special reason for defining the column width in milimeters, I would rather use the predefined lengths, such as \linewidth or \textwidth.

Try the following:

\begin{tabular}[t]{p{0.1\linewidth}p{0.9\linewidth} }
  $L_f$ & Monetary value of the damage caused by a hazard (fire, theft...), against which insurance coverage can be taken up. \tabularnewline
  $p_f$ & Probability of occurrence of that hazard.\tabularnewline
  $p_d$ & Probability that the insurer defaults/does not settle its claims.\tabularnewline
  $X_0$ & Position of the initial endowment of the decision-maker.\tabularnewline
  $D$ & Deductible level of a partial insurance contract
\end{tabular}

Here is the output:

enter image description here

  • thanks, was all simple, i guess i was fooled by latex's complex appearence! – Guillaume Sep 27 '14 at 18:09
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    That will result in overfull boxes as the calculations do not account for the \tabcolsep that is added between the columns. So {@{}p{\dimexpr0.1\linewidth-2\tabcolsep\relax}p{0.9\linewidth}@{}} will fix that. This eliminates teh spacing to the left of the first column and the right of the last column and accounts for the 2\tabcolse between the columns. Also, you need a \noindent before \begin{tabular}. Alternatively, you can use the tabularx package. – Peter Grill Sep 27 '14 at 20:06

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