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Certain parts of org-mode have dependencies on external packages. This file documents these dependencies. Many sections are placeholders, waiting for input. If you can, please contribute. If you think that another section should be added, please add it and fill it out. Also, if you spot any mistakes, omissions or superfluities, please fix them. If you have an account, you can clone the Worg tree and make the additions/fixes (see for more information), but if you don't or don't want to do it yourself, that's fine too: a note to the orgmode mailing list will also do the job. Thanks!

Version: Org-mode version 7.8.03 (release_7.8.03.346.g1915.dirty)

TODO Exporting in general.

Anything here?

STARTED LaTeX export.

The LaTeX class is selected using the construct


org-latex predefines the treatment of the following LaTeX classes article, report, book, beamer - or you can roll your own. And you can, of course, customize the treatment to your heart's content. This assumes a standard LaTeX install.

On Linux/Mac OSX/BSD, the TeXlive distribution is recommended. On Windows, most people prefer MikTeX.

Where to get packages

The best way to get these packages is by using the package manager that comes with your operating system. These generally contain many useful LaTeX packages.

If that is not possible, then you can get individual LaTeX packages from the CTAN sites (see CTAN archives for more information), but the installation process is less straightforward (but more portable): generally speaking, a LaTeX package comes in two files: a .ins file and a .dtx file (usually packed in a zip or tgz archive). Processing the .ins file through latex separates out the code from the .dtx file and produces the pieces that need to be installed on your system, but then it is up to you to figure out where to copy these files on your system for TeX and friends to find them. The command ``kpsewhich'' is useful here: learn to use it well.

Processing the .dtx file directly through latex produces the documentation of the package:

  • latex foo.ins -> foo.sty, etc.
  • pdflatex foo.dtx -> foo.pdf

Those too can be installed in standard places, so that the command ``texdoc'' can find and display them.

Many questions are answered by the TeX FAQ site, although the search capability is fairly primitive by today's standards: you will have to search a bit more diligently.

DONE Standard classes: article, book, report, beamer

The LaTeX packages included by default are as follows:

LaTeX package Ubuntu container package Options Comments
inputenc texlive-latex-base utf8
fontenc texlive-latex-base T1
fixltx2e texlive-latex-base Various LaTeX fixes - fix-cm too?
graphicx texlive-latex-base
longtable texlive-latex-base
float texlive-latex-recommended floating environments
wrapfig texlive-latex-extra text wrapping around figures
soul texlive-latex-extra Underline/strike through
textcomp texlive-latex-base Misc text symbols
marvosym texlive-fonts-recommended Euro symbol
wasysym texlive-fonts-recommended Misc symbols
latexsym texlive-latex-base Math symbols
amssymb texlive-base Math symbols
hyperref texlive-latex-base

STARTED Code blocks

By default, code blocks are rendered as verbatim blocks on export - this setting does not have any additional dependencies. However, LaTeX provides a couple of packages that produce output that most people prefer: one is the ``listings'' package and the other is the ``minted'' package. Which package is used is determined by the value of the variable org-latex-listings: nil means the default verbatim block export, 'minted means the minted package and any non-nil value other than 'minted means the listings package.

Listings package

On Ubuntu, listings.sty is part of the texlive-latex-recommended package. If you want to use color names, you will need color.sty, part of the texlive-latex-base Ubuntu package.

The setup is straightforward - add this to your .emacs (or equivalent):

   (require 'ox-latex)

   (setq org-latex-listings t)
   (add-to-list 'org-latex-packages-alist '("" "listings"))
   (add-to-list 'org-latex-packages-alist '("" "color"))

Minted package

Minted is an externally provided package. It consists of a couple of pieces: minted.sty provides the latex interface. It calls on an external python program called ``pygmentize'' to do the heavy lifting. See the Special note about TeX and external programs.

The minted.sty package can be downloaded from CTAN:

See Where to get packages for instructions.

The pygmentize library can be downloaded from

and there is documentation about installation as well.

To use minted with org, there is no setup involved other than setting org-latex-listings to minted:

   (setq org-latex-listings 'minted)

The minted.sty package is automatically added to the output .tex file.

Special note about TeX and external programs

Some packages (e.g. minted.sty) try to execute an external program in order to accomplish their goal, by using the so-called \textbackslash =write18= construct. This is normally prohibited for security reasons. There are various ways to allow it, some more convenient or more secure than others.

If you use e.g. pdflatex from the command line, then in order to allow such external program execution, you just add the command-line option --shell-escape:

  pdflatex --shell-escape myfile.tex

If you are exporting from org to latex and processing directly to pdf, then this mechanism can be implemented by customizing org-latex-to-pdf-process, which is a list of commands to execute. By default, this list consists of three repetitions of a basic pdflatex command, so you need to modify each of the three instances to add the --shell-escape option. NB: the three repetitions are supposed to ensure that all the references in a basic tex file will be resolved. This heuristic works most of the time, but not all the time.

A more flexible approach consists of using the texi2dvi program, which analyzes logs in order to figure out what it needs to do: if the log contains complaints about undefined references, then texi2dvi will call pdflatex (or whatever) again in order to resolve them. In addition, texi2dvi is smart enough to invoke bibtex and texindex/makeindex if necessary, something that you would have to specify explicitly if you don't use texi2dvi. So why not use texi2dvi by default?

One problem is that the currently [2012-02-21 Tue] available version on most OSes suffers from an obscure egrep bug, one that causes mysterious failures (unless you've seen the error before).

If you want to take matters into your own hands, by all means fix texi2dvi in your setup and use it. The bug is on line 1713 - change it from

  echo "$command_line_filename" | $EGREP '^(/|[A-z]:/)' >&6 \


  echo "$command_line_filename" | $EGREP '^(/|[A-Za-z]:/)' >&6 \

The observant reader will note that the regexps are not equivalent, but in practice that does not matter unless you have DOS drives named with one of the characters in the ASCII charset that falls between ``Z'' and ``a''. If you do have drives named like this, you have more immediate problems than getting org to work on your machine.

OK, let's assume you fixed your version of texi2dvi. How do you use it? Just set

  (setq org-latex-to-pdf-process '("texi2dvi --pdf %f" ))

Wait a minute: where do I put the --shell-escape option? That's the second problem with texi2dvi. The best way I know to have texi2dvi call pdflatex with the --shell-escape option is to define the env variable

  PDFLATEX="pdflatex --shell-escape"
  export PDFLATEX

in your .profile, .bash_profile, .login or whatever init file your login shell uses. Emacs will inherit this env variable and its value and when org invokes texi2dvi (which used $PDFLATEX internally), everything will work out. Another method (which is probably preferred by the security-conscious) is to leave it undefined. If pdflatex does not end up executing external programs, there is no problem. If it does, you'll get an error, so you say

  (setenv "PDFLATEX" "pdflatex --shell-escape")

to your emacs and everything will work as before. The only problem is that the error is usually well hidden, so you'll have to dig to find it. For example, trying to export this file to PDF with PDFLATEX undefined, gives me the following error:

PDF file /home/nick/src/emacs/org/Worg/org-dependencies.pdf was not produced

But if I export to latex and try it from the command line:

pdflatex org-dependencies.tex

the error is clear:

=! Package minted Error: You must invoke LaTeX with the -shell-escape flag.=

Achim Gratz suggested a different, less intrusive method on the mailing list:

> 2) put this in ~/.profile:

> PDFLATEX="pdflatex --shell-escape"

> export PDFLATEX

You might not want to do this either. The canonical way to set the

environment for a single command is to define it right there with the

invocation of the command.

(setq org-latex-to-pdf-process '("PDFLATEX=\"pdflatex --shell-escape\" texi2dvi -p %f"))

Or if your system still had the locale bug even

(setq org-latex-to-pdf-process '("LC_ALL=C PDFLATEX=\"pdflatex --shell-escape\" texi2dvi -p %f"))


LaTeX syntax can be used to introduce many special symbols into a document (e.g. mathematical symbols). Most of these symbols are defined by basic LaTeX, but some require the presence of extra packages.

LaTeX macro Rendered Symbol (approx) LaTeX package Ubuntu container package
\EUR \EUR marvosym texlive-fonts-recommended
\euro \euro eurosym texlive-fonts-recommended

Note that marvosym is now included as part of the default setup so you do not need to include the package explicitly.


PDF export goes through LaTeX export first, so all the LaTeX dependencies apply here as well.

Certain PDF viewers have been reported to produce more or less unreadable files if Adobe Type3 fonts are used in the document. Evince has been identified as one of those. One way around this problem is to not use Type3 fonts. Another is to use a viewer that does not mistreat Type 3 fonts.

You can find more information about this problem in the TeX FAQ:

To find out whether a document uses Type3 fonts, open it with Acrobat Reader/Evince, select Properties from the File menu and then select the Fonts tab; alternatively, use the pdffonts program (part of the xpdf-reader package) from the command line.

It is probably impossible to get rid of Type3 fonts completely (particularly if you are using special symbols or languages that don't use the Latin alphabet: in such cases, font availability is more limited and you just might not be able to find Type1 fonts to do the job).

For standard latin-alphabet languages that use the Computer Modern fonts (including small variations e.g. Polish and Czech), you can find Type1 versions: (XXX-needs fixing) the texlive-fonts-extra package (on Ubuntu/Debian) e.g. includes the AMS CM fonts which work well. Similar packages exist for other Linux distributions and probably for other operating systems as well.

Type1 font LaTeX package Ubuntu container package
Computer Modern amsfonts texlive-base

(/XXX-needs fixing)

TODO DocBook export.


STARTED Exporting LaTeX fragments as images.

LaTeX fragments can be exported as images for inclusion into HTML documents. For example, complicated mathematical expressions can be dealt with this way. This is done by creating a LaTeX file that contains the fragment, processing it through LaTeX to produce a DVI file and then processing it through dvipng. So, in addition to LaTeX, you will need dvipng: on Ubuntu, this is available in the "dvipng" package.

The LaTeX file contains a somewhat different list of LaTeX packages. Note that this is the default list, determined by the value of the variable ``org-format-latex-header''.

LaTeX package Ubuntu container package Options
amssymb texlive-base
color texlive-latex-base usenames
amsmath texlive-latex-base
latexsym texlive-latex-base
eucal texlive-base mathscr

TODO org-plot

STARTED org-babel

For evaluating code blocks in some language, you need at the very least, the interpreter for the language.