My orgmode was recently updated to the recent 8.3, and I found that I can't export my init.org file as HTML any more.

I'm getting the following output in *Messages* buffer:

org-babel-exp process emacs-lisp at line 34...
org-babel-exp process emacs-lisp at line 44...
org-babel-exp process emacs-lisp at line 51...
... hundreds of lines like these ...
apply: Wrong type argument: listp, #("John's Emacs Config" 0 19 (:parent (#0)))

It seems that's it's having trouble parsing some of the headers. I tried removing the TITLE and AUTHOR headers and it was able to export.

  • 2
    This is likely an issue with the new Org being compiled while an older version is loaded. Try installing in a clean session without Org loaded.
    – Kyle Meyer
    Aug 15, 2015 at 6:44

2 Answers 2


The full sequence of steps that worked for me:

  • From the command line:
    • Run emacs without loading the init file: emacs -q
  • In emacs:
    • run C-u M-x org-reload
    • Use package-list-packages to uninstall org: select it then d x
    • Use package-list-packages to reinstall org: select it then i x

After restarting emacs, everything worked.

  • 7
    C-u M-x org-reload was enough for me.
    – M. Toya
    Dec 5, 2016 at 16:54

I've run into this problem with: GNU Emacs (x86_64-apple-darwin15.5.0, NS appkit-1404.47 Version 10.11.5 (Build 15F34)) of 2016-07-26 and Org-mode version 8.3.5 (8.3.5-elpa).

I was able to get around it by removing any of my "titles" or any line it complained about.

For instance removing this block, i was able to export to both ox-reveal and ox-twbs:

#+TITLE:  My Emacs Configuration
#+AUTHOR: JJ Asghar
#+EMAIL:  [email protected]
  • I should say, also following up with the above answer resolved my issue too.
    – JJ Asghar
    Jul 26, 2016 at 16:44

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