I am writing a thesis containing a lot of equations. One problem I am facing is how to label them well enough so that it is easier to refer to them later on. Currently, I tried to name every equation. This method works fine, but it is cumbersome and inefficient. I am wondering whether anyone has a good way to label things. In particular, I am curious how editors label tons of equations in math books. Thank you!

[To a moderator, please allows this question. Labeling equations in a useful way (and not just in such a way that it simply works!) is a very common problem that requires experience or advice. Of course, would be better if the author could pose a question in a more specific fashion but I think throwing it into the bin means introducing a negative selection process. You allow super-specific questions which are easy to formulate nicely but are of interest only to a very, very small number of people. Then you throw away a question that is relevant to literally almost every person on a planet that starts a Ph.D. in subjects such as math or computer science.]

  • You only have to \label those that you want to \ref. But that's not the question, correct? – Werner Mar 30 '15 at 23:26
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    You can use \label{eq:bla:foo:bar} which is an abbreviation of first it refers to an equation then roughly the topic name, the approximate location in terms of section so on – percusse Mar 30 '15 at 23:26
  • @Werner I do have a lot of cross-reference to do. But you just reminded me that maybe I should try to use less cross-reference. – LaTeXFan Mar 30 '15 at 23:46
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    I label all of my equations (theorems, lemmas, ...) with labels of the form E:desciption, (T:description, L:description,...) where description describes the equation/theorem/lemma/.... My editor (vim), expands these labels via tab-completion, this makes it easy to find the right label. You may also find it helpful to use the showkeys package. I also recommend using \autoref from the hyperref package and the technique in How to get correct autoref for theorems – user30471 Mar 31 '15 at 10:07
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    @LaTeXfan You can set up vim so that the tab key causes partially typed text to expand into various commands, macros or even environments. Look for expandtab, listchars in the vim documentation. The latex ftplugins for vim implement explicit latex-style tab completions but you can do this "by hand" by throwing what you want (\alpha, \beta, ...) into a custom dictionary. For tab completion, I highly recommend the vim supertab and snipMate plugins. – user30471 Apr 24 '15 at 8:00

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