I have worked around the problem by customizing org-src-preserve-indentation to true, but by default when I export my code snippets to pdf, My code winds up looking like this:

void foo()
^I//bla bla bla;

Which is kind of irritating. Anyone know whats going on? I am using xelatex for pdf generation (because of unicode in the sources), and minted for syntax highlighting.

Is there a best way to get beatiful code formatting in my pdf? Can I tell it to use clang-format from within xelatex?

Minumum Sample

It took me a while to make a minimum sample, since the issue is configuration file, not the code snippet. With the following as your .emacs, you should be able to reproduce the failure (you will need xelatex and the fontspec package of course). I apologize that there's some unecessary noise form copy-pasting my custom-set-variables block, but it would have taken some effort for me to extract just the salient

  (setq-default c-basic-offset 4
                tab-width 4
                indent-tabs-mode t)

  ;; ;; fontify code in code blocks
  (setq org-src-fontify-natively t)
  (setq org-latex-listings 'minted)
  ;; ;; Let the exporter use the -shell-escape option to let latex
  ;; ;; execute external programs.
  ;; ;; This obviously and can be dangerous to activate!
  (setq org-latex-pdf-process
        '("xelatex -shell-escape -interaction nonstopmode -output-directory %o %f"))

  (provide 'dotemacs)
  ;;; dotemacs.el ends here
   ;; custom-set-variables was added by Custom.
   ;; If you edit it by hand, you could mess it up, so be careful.
   ;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
   ;; If there is more than one, they won't work right.
      (("T1" "fontenc" t)
       ("" "fixltx2e" nil)
       ("" "graphicx" t)
       ("" "longtable" nil)
       ("" "float" nil)
       ("" "wrapfig" nil)
       ("" "rotating" nil)
       ("normalem" "ulem" t)
       ("" "amsmath" t)
       ("" "textcomp" t)
       ("" "marvosym" t)
       ("" "wasysym" t)
       ("" "amssymb" t)
       ("" "hyperref" nil)
   '(org-latex-packages-alist (quote (("" "fontspec" t) ("" "minted" nil)))))

With that, even a trivial (indented) code sample will produce the erroneous results:

* Foo

    #+BEGIN_SRC C++
    void foo() 
        void bar = fb();
        std::cout << "fbar" << "\n"

(sorry, I don't know how to get an org src block to show up right on this sight). Create an indented source code block to reproduce the error.

Which produces the following LaTeX:

   % Created 2015-09-02 Wed 23:17
   \author{Glen Stark}
     pdfcreator={Emacs 24.5.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)}}



   void foo()
       void bar = fb();
       std::cout << "fbar" << "\n"
   % Emacs 24.5.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

The whitespace in the minted block is a tab. Obviously xelatex is inserting something funny in place of the tabs. Unfortunately my companies coding standards are tabs not spaces, so it would be inconvenient to change this (more inconvenient than my current workaround).

Anyone know what the fix is?

  • Might have better qualified people responding to xelatex issues on TEX Stack exchange. I can confirm that I don't get the same error when using PDFLatex. One obvious solution to try is to put the "#+LATEX_CMD: xelatex" at the top of the ORG file. The other is to check if the variable org-export-to-pdf-process is not reverting to latex.
    – Emacs User
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 14:52
  • You should not need to set org-src-preserve-indentation to t if you want to preserve the code indentations; they are anyways preserved. Setting the above var preserves the overall redundant indentation too. Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 14:55
  • Also please update the question with a minimum working org file example that people can use to recreate the problem and also specify your org version (M-x org-version). Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 14:56
  • As @EmacsUser, I too am unable to replicate this problem, am using xelatex and latest build of org-mode from its git master branch. Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 15:04
  • 1
    Are you using some unconventional font to render verbatim environments? iirc ^I is literally tab symbol, maybe that particular font cannot render it? In any case, I suspect that you use tabs to indent your code, what if you untabify it?
    – wvxvw
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


Google searches returned an old answer from TeX Stackexchange community. The solution suggested is to call xelatex with -8bit flag.

A solution may be to call xetex with the command line option -8bit, but I don't know if this has other side effects.

So your configuration should change to

(setq org-latex-pdf-process
        '("xelatex -8bit -shell-escape -interaction nonstopmode -output-directory %o %f"))

Also keep in mind the possibility of unintended side-effects as warned by the author.

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