This page about ob-lilypond has an example of PDF output of this org file. The PDF looks great--small sheet music snippets under explanatory text. The whole thing fits on 2 pages. However, when I grab this org file and C-c C-e l o on my own system, the output PDF is 15 pages. Each paragraph of text and each small musical illustration are on their own page, over many inches of whitespace.

I don't know if this is significant, but I'll mention too that my system asks for a y/n input from me regarding the export of each individual block of Lilypond code during export.

The org-exporter had some complaints:

Overfull \vbox (75.24173pt too high) has occurred while \output is active
[2 <./ionian-eps-converted-to.pdf>]
<dorian-eps-converted-to.pdf, id=29, 541.02126pt x 814.04124pt>
<use dorian-eps-converted-to.pdf> [3]
Overfull \vbox (36.67224pt too high) has occurred while \output is active
[4 <./dorian-eps-converted-to.pdf>]

And I wonder if this has something to do with Lilypond being determined to print its version number at the bottom of each block?

lilypond eps output

And here's the beginning of the exporter's TeX file:

\author{Steven Arntson}
\title{Modes in the Key of C}
 pdfauthor={Steven Arntson},
 pdftitle={Modes in the Key of C},
 pdfcreator={Emacs 24.5.1 (Org mode 8.3.1)}, 

\section*{Ionian Mode}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit...

\section*{Dorian Mode}
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit ...

What might cause this?

  • 1
    Can you post example from the generated TeX file? Also, did you look into Org's export log, did it complain about anything? In your example TeX code, please include the text preceding \begin{document} and at least one bit of text which generates extra space.
    – wvxvw
    Sep 10, 2015 at 6:16
  • 1
    As there doesn't seem to be anything extraordinary here, it seems like there may be a problem with the generated EPS file. Do you have any graphical package capable of opening these? (GIMP would do). It seems like the conversion from EPS to PDF created this discrepancy.
    – wvxvw
    Sep 10, 2015 at 17:55
  • I viewed the eps in Gimp, and have posted a screenshot above. As I note, I now think it may be related to Lilypond adding a footer to every block, stating its version #? Sep 10, 2015 at 18:43
  • 1
    The last time I used lilypond was many years ago, but could you try this: lilypond.1069038.n5.nabble.com/… ? Seems to be a known issue.
    – wvxvw
    Sep 10, 2015 at 20:17
  • That solved the problem. As suggested in the link you posted, I added \header {tagline = ""} at the top of each Lilypond SRC block. Thank you very much for working through this with me. If you wish to post an answer, I'll accept it. Sep 10, 2015 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


After some investigation it appears that the culprit was lilypond appending version text to the end of the EPS document it generated, which was afterwards embedded in the PDF. The solution was to add a line:

\header{ tagline="" }

to lilypond source blocks.

  • This has really helped me today---thanks again. -s Sep 11, 2015 at 16:42

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