I'm in the process of writing a long document and need a List of abbreviations. I've been reading the LaTeX wiki book about this and have had a play with the packages nomencl and glossaries. What package is the most straight forward for developing a List of abbreviations? Is there a package I've missed?


I recommend the glossaries package. It provides several predefined styles and can be customized very well.

Strengths of glossaries are:

  • The very good documentation: besides a normal user's manual it offers a beginner's guide and an upgrade guide (from the predecessor glossary), and even an author's FAQ, plus well documented source code
  • It comes with a Perl script for indexing, running on Linux, Mac as well as on Windows (there's free Perl too)
  • It's very actively maintained (current version on CTAN: 4.35 2017-11-14)
  • The author Nicola Talbot provides support in online forums, I frequently see her answering user's questions

Working with makeindex is needed for such lists of abbreviations, which might be a hurdle to overcome. The perl script and the extensive documentation of glossaries are a great help regarding this step.

Sources for download and documentation:

  • Thank you, I was looking at glossaries but I was beginning to think it might be too complex. It seems to be able to do lots of stuff I was not going to use. Now it has been recommended I will give it a go. – Darling Jan 12 '12 at 21:47

The acronym package is simple:




\section{Acronym List}
  \acro{CDMA}{Code Division Multiple Access}
  \acro{GSM}{Global System for Mobile communication} % [...]

\ac{CDMA} \ac{CDMA} \acl{CDMA}


Define the acronyms in the text as

  \acro{CDMA}{Code Division Multiple Access}
  \acro{GSM}{Global System for Mobile communication} % [...]

The acronyms will appear where defined. To refer to them, use \ac{CDMA} which keeps track, presenting first the long form, then the short forms, or \acs for the short and \acl for the long forms. See https://ctan.org/pkg/acronym?lang=en.

Call f.ex. pdflatex twice for the lists.


  • very simple
  • does not require external tools


  • lacks capitalization
  • 1
    \documentclass... \usepackage{acronym} \begin{document} ...\end{document}... – user31729 Dec 29 '17 at 15:30
  • 1
    Much better -- now everyone can copy the code without to have to build the necessary parts around it... – user31729 Dec 31 '17 at 15:45

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