I am trying to use the nomencl package. I am following an excellent looking guide available here:


However, I can't for the life of me get even the most basic example working despite the document building with no errors. This is the basic example:

\section*{Main equations}
\nomenclature{$a$}{The number of angels per unit area}%
\nomenclature{$N$}{The number of angels per needle point}%
\nomenclature{$A$}{The area of the needle point}%
The equation $\sigma = m a$%
\nomenclature{$\sigma$}{The total mass of angels per unit area}%
\nomenclature{$m$}{The mass of one angel}
follows easily.

When I build this document (using Texmaker and MikTex 2.9), I get a page with the equations and text. There are no errors or warnings shown and it even creates an ".nlo" file with the correct information inside. But no nomenclature.

Can anyone think of anything I have missed or should try?

  • 4
    Have you run makeindex <filename>.nlo -s nomencl.ist -o <filename>.nls which the documentation says is necessary? – cgnieder Jul 3 '12 at 11:36
  • 2
    You can also automate the makeindex run in TeXnicCenter with these instructions. – Mike Renfro Jul 3 '12 at 11:57

the original code you have posted seems to work also, if you run pdflatex, then makeindex, then pdflatex again. I have copied and pasted your example into a file named n.tex. Then, I did

pdflatex n.tex
makeindex n.nlo -s nomencl.ist -o n.nls
pdflatex n.tex

and it seems to work.

You may also want to check a more up-to-date version of the documentation (the one from CTAN): package page on CTAN; documentation, linked from CTAN

  • 2
    @ Jay ... I am working on window 7 not linux, and I am not able to do what you did ... Can you help me please ? – Muhammad Jul 3 '12 at 12:05
  • I don't use Windows, but certainly there must be a way to compile the PDF file, then run makeindex, and then compile again. Do you use TeXnicCenter? If you do you could follow Mike Renfro's instructions (see the comment on your post, he mentioned you could check this: tex.stackexchange.com/a/14704/3345) – Jay Jul 3 '12 at 13:30

In windows you should run the following command in the command prompt:

makeindex <filename>.glo  -s  nomencl.ist  -o <filename>.gls

(I think that .glo and .gls can be .nlo and .nls instead).

To open the command prompt go to Start Menu, type cmd then enter. use cd <path> to go to your working folder and type the command.

To make things easier I'd suggest to keep the nomencl.ist file in the working folder so that the makeindex command can find it.

  • @ Vagelis ... Thanks a lot. But can you tell me where can I find the file nomencl.ist ? – Muhammad Jul 3 '12 at 12:49

Go to:

  • Options,
  • Configure TeXmaker,

then in the makeindex box add

%.nlo -s nomencl.ist -o %.els

to the end of whatever is already in the box, separated by a space.

I am using TeXmaker under Windows 8.1 and this worked for me, hopefully its helpful.

  • why do you put .els whereas the answer above from @Jay used .nls – user08041991 Oct 25 '17 at 9:22

I've added the following user command:

pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|makeindex %.nlo -s nomencl.ist -o %.nls|pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|"C:/Program Files/Adobe/Reader 11.0/Reader/AcroRd32.exe" %.pdf

This executes:

  • pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex
  • makeindex %.nlo -s nomencl.ist -o %.nls
  • pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex
  • "C:/Program Files/Adobe/Reader 11.0/Reader/AcroRd32.exe" %.pdf (display pdf using adobe reader)

The last line can be removed or edited if another pdf reader is used.


  • 1
    If you aren't changing anything not related to the nomenclature, this chain will still check for any changes. This can take up quite some (unneeded) time for large projects. – Johannes_B Sep 28 '15 at 19:44
  • Ok, so running this line only makes sense if the nomenclature list has been edited. If not, just run pdflatex? – JR_ Sep 28 '15 at 19:46
  • Yes. Same for bibliographies, if nothing bibliography related has changed, there is no need to run bibtex or biber. – Johannes_B Sep 28 '15 at 19:51
  • Thanks!! I've just started using Latex today and it took me a lot of time to figure out how to implement a list of symbols. First I tries glossaries but that did not work (due to Perl problems). However, the nomenclature works great. – JR_ Sep 28 '15 at 19:54
  • LaTeX for complete novices is a good read ;-) – Johannes_B Sep 28 '15 at 19:55

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