I have been working on a document that I want to export to both HTML and latex; while working on the document I noticed that using latex \label{} and \ref{} tags works properly for latex export, but these are shown as plain tex in the HTML export. Similarly if I use Org links for references inside the document (for example a link to an Org header ) these are translated as links in the HTML export, but the latex export only shows a different typografy (\texttt{}), but I don't get any hyperlink characteristic.

Is there a way to the same behavior for both exports, either latex directives to translate into html links or Org links as in-file references for the latex export?

For an example of what I'm dealing with please check the following snippet.

#+OPTIONS: H4 num:3 toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:nil -_t f:t *:t <:t
#+OPTIONS: TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil todo:t pri:nil tags:not-in-toc
#+OPTIONS: author:t email:nil creator:nil timestamp:nil
#+LATEX_HEADER: \usepackage{geometry}
#+LATEX_HEADER: \hypersetup{colorlinks, citecolor=black, filecolor=black, linkcolor=black, urlcolor=blue}

* Section name
\label{sec:section_name} (not working properly in html export)
some text
#+LABEL: fig:image
some reference to figure \ref{fig:image} =link work in latex but not in html=
* other section
reference to [[* Section name][link work in html, but not latex export]],but if I use the reference \nameref{sec:section_name} will not work in html, but it will in latex export

PS: I'm aware that I may try to use pandoc, but I have never used it and I don't know if I will get the desired result, and I'd rather not use add additional tools to the toolchain.

Thanks in advance

-- Edit, Added org-mode fragment as example

  • 4
    Can you give an example of your Org code? The second option you describe should actually do what you want. I.e. for example, [[Heading title]] should generate an anchor link in HTML and a reference in LaTeX file. If you want to style the links, you can use #+LATEX_HEADER: \hypersetup{urlcolor=blue} and #+LATEX_HEADER: \hypersetup{colorlinks,urlcolor=blue} (and see ftp.ntua.gr/mirror/ctan/macros/latex/contrib/hyperref/doc/… for more options).
    – wvxvw
    May 12, 2015 at 4:49
  • 1
    Note that \nameref{sec:section_name} is absolutely not stable! E.g. in the current Org version, labels are translated to something like sec:orgheading1 by default unless org-latex-prefer-user-labels is non-nil.
    – rasmus
    May 13, 2015 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


A couple of things..

  1. The syntax for figure/table labels is #+NAME:. You also need to use #+CAPTION: if you want to cross-reference them.
  2. You do not need to use the \label syntax; it's much simpler in org-mode.
    • To reference the section Section name (from your example), you use [[Section name]].
    • To reference that figure in your example, you use [[fig:image]].
  3. You need to use the #+LaTeX: prefix for LaTeX-only code.

Working MWE

* Section name
some text
#+CAPTION: Fig Caption
#+NAME: fig:image
some reference to figure [[fig:image]] =link will work in both html and latex=
* other section
reference to Section [[Section name]] =link will work in both html and latex=

Using CUSTOM_ID to refer to sections

Thanks to the tip from @rasmus in the comments, this is a better way to link to sections as it decouples the section name from the link name.

* Introduction
:CUSTOM_ID: sec:intro
some text
* Conclusion
This links to Section [[#sec:intro]] and this link will work in both html and latex. 
*It is important to prefix the custom ID with the =#= character.*

One more way to refer to sections (double angular brackets)

* Introduction
some text
* Conclusion
This links to Section [[sec:intro]] and this link will work in both html and latex.
*You do not prefix the link name with the =#= character here.*


  1. Figures in org-mode
  2. Internal Links
  3. Quoting LaTeX
  • In addition you can use CUSTOM_ID to refer to headings. I would recommend this as it makes references to headings orthogonal to the the displayed name.
    – rasmus
    May 13, 2015 at 9:18
  • @rasmus CUSTOM_ID didn't work for me for latex/pdf exports (labels were auto generated: example sec:5-1), but worked fine for html exports. May 13, 2015 at 23:45
  • 2
    you use custom_id like [[#my-custom-id]]. To force custom-id to be used as labels you can use org-latex-prefer-user-labels in the git ver version of org (it's called something else in 8.2).
    – rasmus
    May 14, 2015 at 12:32
  • @rasmus Thanks. I'll try that out later today. But [[my-custom-id]] (without the #) worked, but only for html exports. May be I just need to set that var. May 14, 2015 at 12:56
  • 1
    @rasmus I have updated the solution. May 14, 2015 at 14:40

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