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

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

By tom

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:

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\begin{enumerate}

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\item ...

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\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.

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\usepackage{enumerate}

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...

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

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\item

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\end{enumerate}

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

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\item

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\end{enumerate}

Itemize:

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\begin{itemize}

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\item ...

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\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:

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\renewcommand{\labelitemi}{$\bullet$}

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\renewcommand{\labelitemii}{$\cdot$}

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\renewcommand{\labelitemiii}{$\diamond$}

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\renewcommand{\labelitemiv}{$\ast$}

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

Description:

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\begin{description}

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\item[] ...

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\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:

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\begin{description}

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\item[Biology] Study of life.

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\item[Physics] Science of matter and its motion.

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\item[Psychology] Scientific study of mental processes and behaviour.

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\end{description}

And in a PDF it would look like this:

Example of a description list.

Note:

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

Lists: Enumerate, itemize, description and how to change them « LaTeX Matters