Unfortunately this is rarely possible with maths as the symbols used are defined throughout the piece, so any skimming soon requires flicking back through the article to find the definition of each symbol. Some notation is used consistently enough for its meaning to be inferred from context but its pretty rare and the point of using mathematical notation is not to create a system of hieroglyphs that each cover a unique concept. What this inevitably means is that I have to start at the very beginning of a paper and work through in order to make sure I don't miss any definitions. I've read econometrics textbooks that use notation they defined three chapters earlier!

I think there might be a better way to do this.

What if every mathematical symbol in a paper could have its definition brought up by rolling the mouse over it or clicking on it.

I envision a latex package for it working something like the following:

\definemathsymbols{i}{An individual survey respondent.}

\definemathsymbols{\epsilon_{uik}}{The uniform component of measurement error.}

Any subsequent use of the symbol would insert the mouseover text on the right so that a reader who is skimming can easily find out what your idiosyncratic notation means.

Then if you wanted to redefine a symbol you would just use the command again:

\definemathsymbols{i}{The currently selected ego in the simulation.}

Not sure of the technical difficulties in implementing this but I think it could make a reader's job much easier.

If anyone wants to collaborate on writing a package or pointing in the direction of an existing one I'd be interested to hear from you.

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