Some adjustments for LaTeX glossaries

Tags: latex, howtos

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I am using the fine glossaries package to typeset glossaries and acronyms in my dissertation.

While the default settings are not bad, I like to do some custom adjustments to get the glossaries printed just right.

Capitalized descriptions in the glossary

I want entries in the glossary to be capitalized—regardless of the original capitalization. Hence, I prefer minimum spanning tree (MST), but in the glossary, I want it to be written as Minimum spanning tree. To get the package to comply, I find the easiest way to do this is to define a new glossary style. Since I like the long glossary style, I can inherit all features from it and only need to change a small part:


    \glsentryitem{##1}\glstarget{##1}{\glossentryname{##1}} &
    \Glossentrydesc{##1}\glspostdescription\space ##2\tabularnewline


The salient change is the usage of \Glossentrydesc instead of \glossentrydesc, which ensures that the description is printed capitalized.

Non-breaking spaces in the long-short form of an acronym

When glossaries typesets an acronym, I prefer the long-short form. For example, the first use of an acronym should look like minimum spanning tree (MST). Unfortunately, the space between the long form and the short form permits a line-break. This is of course unacceptable and needs to be rectified. The easiest way to solve this is to use


in the preamble of the document. This does not work when you use a custom style, though. See below if you want to copy my style.

Printing acronyms always upright in the long-short form

When the long-short form of an acronym is used, I prefer any text decorations only to apply to the long description, but not to the acronym. Consequently, I like minimum spanning tree (MST) better than I like minimum spanning tree (MST). To achieve this, we need to define our own style. Again, I like the long-short style, so I am going to base the custom style upon it:



Note that this style also uses a non-breaking space ~ to connect the long form to the short form. If you do not want this, just use \space instead.

That’s it for now—as soon as I have found out more ways to procrastinate when using LaTeX, there will be a new post.