# Lists: Enumerate, itemize, description and how to change them

Latex distinguishes between three different enumeration/itemization environments. Each of them provide four levels, which means you can have nested lists of up to four levels.

Enumerate:

\begin{enumerate}
\item ...
\end{enumerate}

The enumerate-environment is used to create numbered lists.
If you like to change the appearance of the enumerator, the simplest way to change is to use the enumerate-package, giving you the possibility to optionally choose an enumerator.

\usepackage{enumerate}
...
\begin{enumerate}[I]%for capital roman numbers.
\item
\end{enumerate}

\begin{enumerate}[(a)]%for small alpha-characters within brackets.
\item
\end{enumerate}

Itemize:

\begin{itemize}
\item ...
\end{itemize}

Itemization is probably the mostly used list in Latex. It also provides four levels. The bullets can be changed for each level using the following command:

\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\bullet$}
\renewcommand{\labelitemii}{$\cdot$}
\renewcommand{\labelitemiii}{$\diamond$}
\renewcommand{\labelitemiv}{$\ast$}

Amongst the more commonly used ones are $\bullet$ ($\bullet$), $\cdot$ ($\cdot$), $\diamond$ ($\diamond$), $-$ ($-$), $\ast$ ($\ast$) and $\circ$ ($\circ$).

Description:

\begin{description}
\item[] ...
\end{description}

The description list might be the least known. It comes in very handy if you need to explain notations or terms. Its neither numbered nor bulleted.

Example:

\begin{description}
\item[Biology] Study of life.
\item[Physics] Science of matter and its motion.
\item[Psychology] Scientific study of mental processes and behaviour.
\end{description}

And in a PDF it would look like this:

Example of a description list.

Nested lists:

Lists can be nested. In other words, it is possible to have a sub-list for an item of a list. Usage is straight forward, different environments can be mixed (see example) and the maximum depth (number of levels) is 4. Here is an example:

\begin{itemize}
\item First level, itemize, first item
\begin{itemize}
\item Second level, itemize, first item
\item Second level, itemize, second item
\begin{enumerate}
\item Third level, enumerate, first item
\item Third level, enumerate, second item
\end{enumerate}
\end{itemize}
\item First level, itemize, second item
\end{itemize}

Note:

The space between different items can be controlled with the \itemsep command (can only be added just after “begin”):

\begin{itemize}\itemsep2pt
\item
\end{itemize}

#### 127 Responses to “Lists: Enumerate, itemize, description and how to change them”

• mbork

Well, I used to use the enumerate package too – but only until I found out about another one, called enumitem. It’s way more flexible and (in some cases) easier to use. (For example, it’s a bit tricky to obtain enumerations with _bold_ letters: (a), (b) etc with the enumerate package – try it! With enumitem, it’s much easier.)

Also, I hardly ever use itemize and description – and enumerate all the time.

• nguyenminhhaivn

Thanks a lot, your blog is very helpful. Btw, do you know how to insert pieces of source code into documents? I have tried some packages already, but they are a little ugly. Perhaps I have not figured out how to configure them yet :(.

• tom

Hi there,

Thanks for your comment. Please check my post on how to include source code into your documents here.

Cheers,
Tom

• Joe Python

Is it possible to create fancy frames like the one you created in your html for the description list?

• tom

Hi Joe,

It is possible to crate fancyframes using \mbox or the fancybox package. Nevertheless, I think you will have problems creating a frame similar to the html above, as figure is a floating environment, which can’t be put into a box.

Tom.

• Ana

Hi Ana,

I moved your comment here.

Thanks,
Tom

• joana

Hi!

Is it possible to begin the enumeration with 0?

0. something
1. something
2. something

Thanks!

• DIYANA

how to tab the item in the itemize.

i want to move the item a bit right.

1 cm to the right, then start the itemize.

• tom

One thing you can do is to use \hspace{1cm} between your \item and its content. However this will separate the dot (or whatever you are using) from the text which is probably not what you are looking for.
If so, try this:

\parbox[1cm]{\textwidth}{
\begin{itemize}
...
\end{itemize}
}

Cheers, Tom.

• Wouter

Hello Tom,

Your solution does only works partially. When your description has a text length longer then \textwidth, the text wont be cut of at \textwidth but at \textwidth + 1cm

Do you maybe have a solution which prevents that? I tried to use…

\parbox[1cm]{\textwidth - 1cm}{ ... }

but that doesn’t work since it can’t do the math

• tom

You are right of course. Thanks for pointing this out. Try the following instead:

\begin{list}{\labelitemi}{\leftmargin=1cm}
\item ...
\end{list}

Sorry for that, Tom.

• Tamer

Is there any way to get enumeration as follows:

A1.

A2.

A3.

Thanks.

• tom

Hi!

Probably the easiest way is to use the optional argument of \item[], which lets you customize your list and would look something like this:

\begin{enumerate}
\item[A1.] First item
\item[A2.] Second item
\item[A3.] Third item
\end{enumerate}

However, if you have many items and don’t want to adapt the number for each item, you can also redefine the counter of the list. This is done through the following line of code:

\renewcommand{\theenumi}{A\arabic{enumi}}
• Brit

Hi
Hope you can help. When I use enumerate and change the counter the indent disapeares. When I don’t add a counter there is an indent.

This:

\begin{enumerate}[a.]
\item text 1
\item text 2
\item text 3
\end{enumerate}

Looks like this:
Some text
a. text 1
b. text 2
c. text 3
Some more text.

But I would like:

Some text
(space here)a. text 1
b. text 2
c. text 3
Some more text.

How do I get that?

Brit

• tom

Hi Brit!

This is how you indent items in your enumerate:

\begin{enumerate}[a.]
{\setlength\itemindent{1cm}
\item text 1
}
\item text 2
\item text 3
\end{enumerate}

Cheers, Tom.

Is there any way to get enumeration as follows:

[1] Text should be followed like this as
next line should start just below the first word of first line (for example, below the Text)

• tom

Is this what you are looking for:

\begin{enumerate}
\item This is my first item.\\
On several lines.
\item This is my second item.
\end{enumerate}

If not, please post a text example.

Cheers, Tom.

Dear Tom,
But I am looking for to get enumerate like this (as described below) ”

[1] This is my first item.
On several lines.
[2] This is my second item.
On several lines.
[3] This is my third item.
On several line

• tom

Hi!

Add this line to your preamble. This will change the style of your enumeration accordingly.

\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{[\arabic{enumi}]}

Cheers, Tom.

Hi,

I tried your suggestion but it looks like:

1. This is my first item.
On several lines.
2. This is my second item.

But I want like:

[1] This is my first item.
On several lines.
[2] This is my second item.

• Snap

Hi,
I wonder if it is possible to do something like this:
—————————————-
1. First Section Big Heading
Some normal text followed by a list numbered by section then item number:
1.1 First list item
1.2 Second list item (which will be referenced)

2. Second Section Big Heading
Some more normal text.
2.1 Another other item
2.2 A reference to a previous list item in this list (see item 2.1)
2.3 A reference to a previous list item in a different list (see item 1.2)
—————————————-
I want to be able to label and refer to items in the list, much like they way that equations are numbered. Thanks in advance!

• tom

You can use \label{itm:item1} and \ref{itm:item1} just like for figures, equations, etc.

Besides, to get the numbering as proposed in your example (section.item), use:

\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\thesection.\arabic{enumi}}

Cheers, Tom.

• Sameer

I am using MikTex…and I want 4th level of numbers like shown below..How to get that…I am just 5 day old MikTex user..!

1. Topic
1.1 Subtopic
1.1.1 Sub-Sub Topic
1.1.1.1 Sub-Sub-Sub Topic

-Sameer

• tom

Hi Sameer,

The following code explains how to produce up to six levels in depth including numbering as well as adding the headings to the table of contents.

\documentclass[a4paper]{report}
\setcounter{secnumdepth}{5} % Section depth to be numbered
\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\chapter{test}
\section{test}
\subsection{test}
\subsubsection{test}
\paragraph{test}
\subparagraph{test}
\end{document}

Cheers, Tom.

I’m running into a bit of difficulty with all this. When I try to reference an embedded enumeration, rather than getting just “I” I get “Ia”. Here’s my big long preamble, but I think the only relevant package for this problem is the enumerate package.

\documentclass[12pt, letterpaper]{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{amsthm}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage[pdftex]{graphicx}
\DeclareGraphicsExtensions{.pdf,.png,.jpg,.gif}
\usepackage{natbib}
\bibpunct{(}{)}{;}{a}{}{,}
\usepackage[top=1in, bottom=1in, left=1in, right=1in]{geometry}
\usepackage{enumerate}
\usepackage[usenames,dvipsnames]{color}
\usepackage{setspace}
\usepackage{stmaryrd}
\usepackage{textcomp}
\usepackage{multirow}
\usepackage{ifsym}
\usepackage[table]{xcolor}
\usepackage{soul}
\usepackage{cancel}
\usepackage{ulem}
\usepackage{units}
\usepackage{pifont}
\newcommand{\verteq}[0]{\rotatebox{90}{$=$}} \definecolor{newyellow}{RGB}{255,150,0} \definecolor{newgray}{RGB}{250,250,250}
\begin{document}
\long\def\symbolfootnote[#1]#2{\begingroup%
\def\thefootnote{\fnsymbol{footnote}}\footnote[#1]{#2}\endgroup}

Then when I go to enter something like

\begin{enumerate}
\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\arabic{enumi}}
\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{\theenumi}
\begin{minipage}{14cm}
\item\label{Numbers and Basic Operations} ...

and then something like

\begin{enumerate}
\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\Roman{enumi}}
\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{\theenumi}
\begin{minipage}{13.11cm}
\item\label{NatNum}...

and then I later try to reference this, the reference to “Numbers and Basic Operations” comes out perfect but the reference to “NatNum” comes out “Ia” when I want it to come out just “I”.

Any ideas?

• tom

I can’t really reproduce your issue, it works for me. Here is the code, maybe it helps:

\documentclass[12pt, letterpaper]{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{enumerate}
\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\arabic{enumi}}
\item\label{itm:numop} Numbers and Basic Operations
\end{enumerate}
and then something like
\begin{enumerate}
\renewcommand{\theenumi}{\Roman{enumi}}
\item\label{itm:natnum} Test
\end{enumerate}
This is a reference to \ref{itm:numop} and \ref{itm:natnum}.
\end{document}

Have you tried deleting all meta-files that are generated when typesetting?
Another thing that I would recommend is using relative values for the minipage width:

\begin{minipage}{0.5\textwidth}

Best, Tom.

Hello Tom,

Im using the enumerate command and noticed that the list has 1.5 line spacing between lines. How can I chance the justification to 1 line spacing?

Thanks,

• Amber

I would really like to do something like the following, but when I try to embed a 5th level, I get errors. Is there any way to change settings to allow this:

\begin{enumerate}[label=(\Roman{*})]
\item Example I
\item Example II
\begin{enumerate}[label=(\Alph{*})]
\item Example II, A
\item Example II, B
\item Example II, C
\begin{enumerate}[label=(\arabic{*})]
\item Example II, C, 1
\item Example II, C, 2
\begin{enumerate}[label=(\alph{*})]
\item Example II, C, 2, a
\item Example II, C, 2, b
\begin{enumerate}[label=(\roman{*})]
\item Example II, C, 2, b, i
\item Example II, C, 2, b, ii
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\item Example II, C, 3
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\item Example III
\end{enumerate}

• tom

Hi Amber,

You can either use an itemize-environment within if you are comfortable with having bullets instead of numerated items for one level. If not, the enumitem package provides commands that let you define a list with a custom depth. Make sure you have the latest version (version 3.0 or higher), as some stuff was only added recently.

\usepackage{enumitem}
\newlist{longenum}{enumerate}{5}
\setlist[longenum,1]{label=\Roman*}
\setlist[longenum,2]{label=\Alph*}
\setlist[longenum,3]{label=\arabic*}
\setlist[longenum,4]{label=\alph*}
\setlist[longenum,5]{label=\roman*}

Use this code in your preamble, remove the label definitions from your code and replace all enumerate-environments with longenum.
Hope it helps, Tom.

• Nicolai

Hey Tom.
I was wondering if you had an idea, how to use enumerate if I want to get the item to look like this:
[1]
[2]
[3]
etc.

• tom

Hi Nicolai,

You can either do it the classic way:

\renewcommand\theenumi{\arabic{enumi}}
\renewcommand\labelenumi{[\theenumi]}

Or using the enumitem-package:

\usepackage{enumitem}
...
\begin{enumerate}[label={[\arabic*]}]

Best, Tom.

• Mariam

Hi how can ı write this rows with latex?
ı mean how to enumerate
thank you.

There are two option :
a) a maximum b) a minimum

• tom

Try this:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{enumerate}
\begin{document}
\begin{enumerate}[a)]
\item a maximum
\item a minimum
\end{enumerate}
\end{document}

Best, Tom.

• Alison

Hi Tom,

How would I begin enumerating a later number than 1?

e.g.

3.
4.
5.

Cheers.

• tom

Hi Alison,

Set the counter to 2, so your first item will have index 3:

\begin{enumerate}
\setcounter{enumi}{2}
...
\end{enumerate}

Cheers, Tom.

• Jesse

I am trying to get a continuous list of examples throughout the document – i.e., all the examples are in sequence but with lots of text in between:

(1) ___
(2) ___
….

..
.
(3) ___
(4) ___
(5) ___

Is this possible to do automatically? It seems so basic, but I can’t figure it out. Thanks.

• tom

Hi Jesse,

I think what you are looking for is this. Hope it helps. Let me know if you have any questions. Tom.

• Andreas

I think you might be looking for the suspend/resume commands provided by the mdwlist package:

\begin{enumerate}
\item First item.
\item Second item.
\suspend{enumerate}
Text in the middle of the list.
\resume{enumerate}
\item Third item.
\end{enumerate}
• ofer

is there a possibility to reveres the order of enumerated list

• tom

I was a little surprised by your question, but there is indeed a package called etaremune (enumerate backwards). It’s usage is straight forward:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{etaremune}
\begin{document}
\begin{etaremune}[start=5]
\item Fifth item
\item Fourth item
\item Third item
\end{etaremune}
\end{document}

You’ll have to typeset the document twice for the numbers to be correct. Also, there is another package that offers similar functionality, called revnum, but my distribution at least doesn’t come with it by default. So you would probably have to manually install it.

You can find the package documentation here.

Best, Tom.

• molom

Hi Tom,
and thanks for all the updates.
I recently learnt about etaremune environment. But want I am not succeeding with it is to have square brackets ([]) in the items:

[3] item 3
[2] item 2
[1] item 1

Thanks again!

• tom

Hi there!

The following code should do the trick. Cheers, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{etaremune}
\begin{document}
\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{[\theenumi]}
\begin{etaremune}
\item Item 3
\item Item 2
\item Item 1
\end{etaremune}
\end{document}
• molom

Thanks a lot Tom.
I just tried it and it was perfect!

• tom

Great, glad it worked. Cheers, Tom.

• Reverse enumerate or etaremune « LaTeX Matters

[...] I stumbled across this package recently thanks to a comment by ofer. [...]

• txinitomandarin

I love the snowflakes

• milemist

Quick question: Is it possible to change the colour of the bullets in the itemize environment?

I am using coloured headings, and it would look much better if I can add colour to bullet points and footnote lines, but for the time being, I’d be happy with bullets (or numbers).

Thanks!

• tom

Hi there,

Try this:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{color}
\begin{document}
\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{${\color{red}\bullet}$}
\begin{itemize}
\item first
\item second
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

Cheers, Tom.

• asd

>Each of them provide four levels, which means you can have nested lists of up to four levels.
And how do you create such levels?

• kala

Hi, is it possible to put label to math equation in every item? e.g.
i) x+y=z (1)
ii) k-l=2 (2)

• tom

Hey Kala,

Try the code below. I hope it’s roughly what you were looking for.

\newcounter{eqncounter}
\newcommand{\eqnlabel}{
\roman{eqncounter})\;}
$$\eqnlabel x+y=z$$
$$\eqnlabel k-l=2$$


Best, Tom.

• kala

Thank you very much, Tom. And do you know how put equations in the left side not in the center?

• tom

The amsmath package can left-align equations through the package option fleqn:

\usepackage[fleqn]{amsmath}

Best, Tom.

• Emilio.

Hi Tom, I have used

\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{(\roman{enumi})}
\begin{enumerate}
\item First line
\item Second line
\end{enumerate}

but my problem is the format. I expect
(i) First line
(ii) Second line

but instead I have

(I) First line
(II) Second line

that is, capital romans, but they are smaller than the original ones.
I am using Kile, in Ubuntu 11.04. Okular as my default pdf viewer.

Do you know what is the possible problem?
Greetings,
Emilio

• tom

Hi Emilio,

Thanks for the comment with the code example. From your description it seems as if you are using small capitals, e.g.:

\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{(\sc\roman{enumi})}

Would you mind providing a complete minimal example? It may be due to a package you are loading or some other code you use.

Best, Tom.

• asvhen

That’s solution:

\usepackage[spanish,es-lcroman]{babel}

es-lcroman
\roman (o “i”) pasa a minúsculas (recuérdese que en español esto es una falta de ortografía).

• Mark

Hi,

I would like to use my own item labels \item[...], but I want the labels to flush left, rather than flush right, ie

Main text:
short label: blahblah….
loooooooooong label: blahblah….

rather than what seems to be the default,

Main text:
short label: blahblah….
loooooooooong label: blahblah….

Ooops, the webpage doesn’t like my formatting. In the second example, the colons align, and loooooooong label sticks into the margin

Thanks, Mark

• tom

Hi Mark,

Have a look at the examples below using the tabular and description environments. I’m sure, from there you’ll be able to adapt the examples to your needs. You may also find the enumitem documentation useful.
Best, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage{array}
\begin{document}
\subsubsection*{Tabular:}
\begin{tabular}{>{\bf}ll}
short label: &blahblah\\
loooooooooong label: &blahblah\\
\end{tabular}
\vspace{1cm}
\subsubsection*{Description flushleft:}
\begin{description}[leftmargin=5cm, style=sameline, align=left]
\item[short label: ]blahblah\\
\item[loooooooooong label: ]blahblah\\
\end{description}
\end{document}
• kokorins

Hi, you might now how to add something like this:

\begin{itemize}
\item[step 1] Text
\item[step 2] Text
\end{itemize}

But [step 1] [step 2] should be aligned to left, not to the center as it’s by default

• tom

Hello!

There was a very similar question in the previous comment. Here is a minimal example:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{showframe}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
\begin{description}[style=multiline,leftmargin=3cm,font=\normalfont]
\item[step 1] Text
\item[step 2 blabla] Text is a very long text is a very long text is a very long text is a very long text
\end{description}
\end{document}

If you don’t need your text to start from the same position, use the following line of code instead:

\begin{description}[align=left, font=\normalfont]

Best, Tom.

• Shehab

I wanted to use the following:

\begin{description}
\item[First] The first item
\item[Second] The second item
\item[Third] The third etc \ldots
\end{description}

My document starts like as follows:

\documentclass{ws-jktr}
\usepackage{subfig}
\usepackage{textcomp}
\usepackage{wrapfig}
\newtheorem{thm}{Theorem}[section]
\newtheorem{conj}[thm]{Conjecture}
\newtheorem{defn}[thm]{Definition}
\newtheorem{exmp}[thm]{Example}
\newtheorem{prop}[thm]{Proposition}
\begin{document}

I am using TeXworks Version 0.2.3 (r.466) on Ubuntu.

I am getting the following error.

! LaTeX Error: Environment description undefined.

• tom

Hi Shehab,

Try using itemize, it seems the description environment is not available in this particular documentclass.

\begin{itemize}
\item[\bf First] The first item
\item[\bf Second] The second item
\item[\bf Third] The third etc \ldots
\end{itemize}


Cheers, Tom.

• Humberto

Hi Tom,

How I can enumerate chapters and sections (Ex. Chapter I, I.1) in Roman numbers, and figures, tables and equations in arabic numbers (Ex. Figure 2.1, Table 4.1, (5.1))?

Thanks
Humberto

• tom

Hi Humberto,

Here is a minimal example. It works similarly for tables and equations.

\documentclass[11pt]{report}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\renewcommand*{\thechapter}{\Roman{chapter}}
\renewcommand*{\thesection}{\thechapter.\Roman{section}}
\renewcommand*{\thefigure}{\arabic{chapter}.\arabic{figure}}
\begin{document}
\tableofcontents
\listoffigures
\blinddocument
\begin{figure}[ht]
\centering
\rule{4cm}{3cm}
\caption{Figure placeholder.}
\end{figure}
\end{document}

Best, Tom

• Kshatresh

Hi Tom,
How can I list my content such that second line of item starts with some space i.e after one two word of Ist line of item.

Kshatresh

• tom

Hi!

Use itemindent of the enumitem package to create hanging indent in lists.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{lipsum, enumitem}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}[itemindent=-2em]
\item \lipsum[66]
\item \lipsum[66]
\end{itemize}
\end{document}

Best, Tom.

• Colin

I am having a problem where my enumerated list is running over my page width. I get the error: Overfull \hbox. Any ideas how to fix that?

Thanks,
Colin

• tom

Hi Colin,

Unless you are using long words that are hard to hyphenate (e.g. hyperlinks), LaTeX will automatically line-breaks when the text reaches the margin. See my minimal working example below. Can you provide some code to illustrate the problem?

Thanks, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\begin{document}
\begin{enumerate}
\item \blindtext
\item \blindtext
\end{enumerate}
\end{document}
• Colin

I think you were right and it just had to do with long words at the end of the sentence. I just added manual line breaks for the 2 words that caused the problems. Thanks for the reply.

• tom

Glad you found a solution that worked for you. Cheers, Tom.

Hi guys, I have one question.. How can I insert in Latex an enumerator like this (*) to indicate my equation? And is there any way to insert a matrix (for example) and write a title “My matrix” below it.

Best,

• tom

Referencing equations can be done as shown in the code below. Concerning matrices in LaTeX, please see my answer to your other question.

Cheers, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\begin{document}
$$\label{eqn:pythagoras} a^2+b^2=c^2$$
Reference to \ref{eqn:pythagoras}.
\end{document}


And the other thing that I forgot to ask .. how to insert a text into the matrix..I want to get something like this:
(text textfafaf)
(text text )
That is a matrix with 2 rows.

• tom

You can use \textnormal{} in any math environment form normal text.

Best, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\begin{document}
$\begin{pmatrix} \textnormal{text} & \textnormal{text with space} \\ \textnormal{text} & \textnormal{text} \\ \end{pmatrix}$
\end{document}
• Saiman

How can I get the look of \begin{description} … as shown in the article… but also as numbered list, i.e. something like below:

1. Biology: Study of life.
2. Physics: Science of matter and its motion.
3. Psychology: Scientific study of mental processes and behaviour.

• tom

Hi Saiman,

Thanks for your question. Here is an example I got from this google group:

\documentclass{article}
\newcounter{description}
\renewcommand{\descriptionlabel}[1]{%
\refstepcounter{description}%
\hspace\labelsep
\normalfont\bfseries \thedescription. #1:}
\begin{document}
\begin{description}
\item[Animals] Emus.
\item[Cars] Ferraris.
\end{description}
\end{document}

Cheers, Tom.

• nash

how do i write this in latex
1) AAAAAAAAAA
1.1 AAAA
1.2 AAAAAAA
1.3 AAAAAAA

2) AAAAAA
2.1AAAAAAA
2.2Uaaaaaaaa
2.3aaaaaaa

3 bbbbbbbbbbbb
some test here

• tom

Hi Nash,

Here is one way to do it by redefining the counters:

\renewcommand{\labelenumi}{\arabic{enumi})}
\renewcommand{\labelenumii}{\arabic{enumi}.\arabic{enumii}}

Hope that helps!

Best, Tom.

• aravindbm

Quoted text “The space between different items can be controlled with the \itemsep command (can only be added just after “begin”):

\begin{itemize}\itemsep2pt
\item
\end{itemize}

Is there a similar option in enumerate, to control the space between adjacent items. Thanks.

• tom

Works exactly the same way.

\begin{enumerate}\itemsep2pt
\item
\item
\end{enumerate}

Cheers, Tom.

• aravindbm

Thanks. This worked. I would like to know, if we can change the space between the nested lists, as there is too much space left between the first level items and second level items. Thanks again.

• tom

Hi!

The example below illustrates how to change the vertical space between nested list items. Cheers, Tom.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}
\item Top list
\begin{enumerate}[label=\alph*),itemsep=-1ex,topsep=-2ex]
\item First item
\item Second item
\item Third item
\end{enumerate}
\end{itemize}
\end{document}
• aravindbm

I would like to develop a skip pattern for my questionnaire. If I have to write three questions
1.
2.
.
.
.
13. Employment (a)1st option (b)2nd option (c)3rd option
14. If Q13 answered (a) or (b), your most recent occupation, ______________

For this I used enumerate to create the items 1 – 14 and so on…
But if I add or remove any items above the 13th, the ”if Q13 answered..” part of the 14th question needs editing. How can I automate this? Thanks.

• tom

Hey!

You can use \label and \ref.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{enumerate}
\item\label{itm:test} Employment (a)1st option (b)2nd option (c)3rd option
\item If Q\ref{itm:test} answered (a) or (b), your most recent occupation,
\end{enumerate}
\end{document}

Best, Tom.

• aravindbm

This syntax is not giving the reference as the proper Q number.

Results display
If Q?? answered (a) or (b), your most recent occupation

If Q1 answered (a) or (b), your most recent occupation.
I think there is some error in the syntax.
Thanks.

• tom

Like for any reference in LaTeX (figures, tables, etc.) you’ll have to typeset the document twice. The first time, LaTeX collects the \ref commands and after that it updates the numbers…

• aravindbm

Typesetting twice… worked like magic. Thanks again.
Regards,
Dr Manoj Aravind.

• okkes

Hi Tom,

Is there any way to do as follows

question
1)
a)
b)
solution
1)
a)
b)

• tom

Hi Okkes

The code below is a minimal working example showing how I would do it. Is that more or less what you had in mind? Best, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{enumerate}
\begin{document}
\paragraph{Question}
\begin{enumerate}[1)]
\item The question
\begin{enumerate}[a)]
\item The first sub-question
\item The second sub-question
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\paragraph{Solution}
\begin{enumerate}[1)]
\item The solution
\begin{enumerate}[a)]
\item Solution to first sub-question
\item Solution to second sub-question
\end{enumerate}
\end{enumerate}
\end{document}
• okkes

yes Tom, thanks a lot..

• lailame

Thank you very helpful post

• Ankhi Sena Mun

Thanks.. the description of {description} was really helpful…

• Nikita

Hi,
how can I put the items in the same paragraph, and following the main text? I mean just like in this example itself: a) item-a, b) item-b, c) item-c.

• Nikita

Hi again,
I was using paralist package and inparaenum environment, but in order to achieve more compatibility with translators (i.e. pandoc), the question is if it is possible to make it with enumerate package. Thanks a lot in advance.

• tom

Hi Nikita,

Use the starred list provided by the enumitem package. Here is a minimal example:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage[inline]{enumitem}
\begin{document}
Some random text \begin{enumerate*}[label=\alph*)]\item item-a \item item-b \item item-c \end{enumerate*} some random text.
\end{document}

Please see the package documentation for more details.

Best, Tom.

• sonia

Hi.
can we have this itemize in latex (portable):
- test test test test
– ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt….
ttttttttttttttttttttt.
– BBBB.
– CCC.
I want to margin bullet. if the item is long, starts after bullet (has a space) like up example

• tom

Hi Sonia,

If I understand your question correctly, you would like to indent multi-line items. I wrote the example below and it seems this is the standard behavior. Could you provide a minimal working example similar to the one below to illustrate your problem.

Thanks, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{blindtext}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}
\item test
\item \blindtext
\item test
\end{itemize}
\end{document}
• Bel

Hi,

usually in my articles for the \documentclass[journal]{IEEEtran}, I use the “description” environment without any error,i.e. \begin{description} … \end{description}.
However, when I used the \documentclass{bioinf} for the Oxford Bioinformatics journal I got an error stating that the description environment is undefined.

• tom

Hi Bel,

Interestingly, the description environment is defined by the document class and the journal either had a reason not to define it or simply forgot.

However, if you look at the class file, they defined the environment unlist which you could use. Something like this should work:

\documentclass{bioinfo}
\newcommand{\ditem}[2]{%
\item {\bf #1}\hspace{\itemsep}#2
}
\begin{document}
\begin{unlist}
\ditem{First}{bla}
\ditem{Second}{bla}
\end{unlist}
\end{document}
• Francisco Burgos

Hi:

I have a question.
How you can change item separation but in the whole document?
Not only in the present list, put \itemsep 1pt after \begin{itemize}.
I know that is a little complicate but i dont know how many complicate.

• tom

Hi Francisco,

The enumitem package provides a way to change the default setting for certain parameters. The code below illustrates how to change itemsep. See page 5 of the documentation for more details.

HTH, Tom.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{blindtext, enumitem}
\setlist{itemsep=1cm}
\begin{document}
\begin{itemize}
\item First item
\item Second item
\end{itemize}
\blindtext
\begin{itemize}
\item First item
\item Second item
\end{itemize}
\end{document}
• Susannah

I am using the mdwlist package with the report format. I have two list levels, the first list has arabic numerals, the second (nested) list is alphabetical. My second lists has increased to more than 26 items. Is there a way to convince LaTeX to number items 27-40 with aa, bb, cc, etc.?

Unfortunately, I cannot change the shorter list to alphabetical and the longer one to numerical.

• tom

Hi Susannah,

How about using the alphalph package?

\documentclass[11pt]{article}

\usepackage{alphalph}
\usepackage{alphalph}
\renewcommand*{\theenumi}{%
\alphalph{\value{enumi}}%
}
\usepackage{alphalph}

\begin{document}
\begin{enumerate}
\item a\item a\item a\item a\item a
\item a\item a\item a\item a\item a
\item a\item a\item a\item a\item a
\item a\item a\item a\item a\item a
\item a\item a\item a\item a\item a
\item a\item a\item a\item a\item a
\end{enumerate}
\end{document}
• Javid

very helpful! Thanks Muck.

• Nirvana

HI,

I realised that when using Description, the items are indented to the left.

\textbf{Vocabularies:}
\begin{description}
\item [charisma] (n.) an immense charm
\item [elusive] (adj.) difficult to find, define, or achieve
\end{description}

i.e. the words [charism] and [elusive] are not aligned with Vocabularies.

How can I align them up?

Cheers,
Tim

• tom

Hi Tim,

Either remove the indentation on “Vocabulary”:

\noindent\textbf{Vocabularies:}

or add these two lines to your preamble for automatic indention of description items:

\usepackage{enumitem}
\setdescription{leftmargin=\parindent,labelindent=\parindent}

Cheers, Tom

• np0187

Hi,

I’m a beginner and I’ll be glad if you help me with this problem.

I’m creating lists using the itemize function as follows :

\begin{itemize}
\item[Operating frequency x Mhz]  Some text
\item[Operating frequency y Mhz] Some text ...
\end{itemize}

My problem is that since the name in my description i.e. “Operating frequency x Mhz” is quite large , most of it is not visible in the document generated.

Can you help me with this problem ?

• tom

Hi!

First of all, you probably want to use description instead of itemize. It will automatically highlight text within “[]“. The enumitem package has lots of options for customization of lists. For example, it has a description style, newline, which automatically adds a linebreak after the text in “[]” in case it’s too long. I used that style in your code example below.

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}

\begin{description}[style=nextline]
\item[Operating frequency x Mhz]  Some text
\item[Operating frequency y Mhz] Some text ...
\end{description}

\end{document}
• Jeroen Schillewaert

Hi Tom,

is it possible to get the items printed in reverse order, this since I have
ordered my talks etc, in chronological order, but now I think it is more useful to list my newest ones first. However, changing the items manually around will be quite a task.

So what I have for now is

\begin{itemize}
\item Oldest
\item Not so old
\item New
\end{itemize}

and I would like the output

New
Not so old
Oldest

Thanks a lot for your help,
Jeroen

• tom

Hi Jeroen,

That’s an interesting but rather unusual problem. I don’t know of any package which does that. The etaremune package (see my post here) reverses the numbering in enumerate, but not the actual order of items.

If you are keen enough, you might want to write your own macro to do that.

Best, Tom

• Michiel

Hi!
I’m strugling with creating a list of symbols by using the description environment:

\begin{description}
\item[A]\hspace{0.8in}  first letter
\item[B]\hspace{0.8in}  second letter
\item[C]\hspace{0.8in}  third
\end{description}

I want something like:

A first letter
B second letter
C third

However, the spacing between symbol and description is unequal (because the line spacing is constant but the length of symbols is not):

A First
B Second
C Third

Is there a simple solution for this problem?

Best and thanks in advance,
Michiel

• tom

Hi Michiel,

Thanks for your question. The enumitem package provides options to keep the space between description item and paragraph constant. Below is an example. Increase or reduce the space by changing leftmargin.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\begin{document}
\begin{description}[leftmargin=5em,style=nextline]
\item[First] First paragraph
\item[Second] Second paragraph
\item[Third] Third paragraph
\end{description}
• muiz

How to created itemize for multiple chooice test option, like
a). Item 1 d) Item 4
b). Item 2 e) Item 5
e). Item 3
Thanks a lot for your help,
Muiz

• tom

Hi Muiz,

If you question is just about numbering the items, use enumerate instead of itemize. If you are asking how to place items next to each other, try the multicol package.

Here is an example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{enumerate, multicol}
\begin{document}
\begin{multicols}{2}
\begin{enumerate}[a)]
\item Item 1
\item Item 2
\item Item 3
\item Item 4
\item Item 5
\item Item 6
\end{enumerate}
\end{multicols}
\end{document}