I have a mostly working version. Org is pretty clever about how it fontifies
links. It just hides the parts of the link when
org-descriptive-links is non-nil. It does this using the
buffer-invisibility-spec. The function that does all the heavy lifting is
My solution is remove the
invisible property from the cite-key part of the
URL by advising
(defun my:make-org-link-cite-key-visible (&rest _)
"Make the org-ref cite link visible in descriptive links."
(when (string-prefix-p "cite:" (match-string 1))
(remove-text-properties (+ (length "cite:") (match-beginning 1))
(advice-add 'org-activate-bracket-links :after #'my:make-org-link-cite-key-visible)
Unfortunately, there's no space between the key and the description so it looks
I'll look at using text properties to fix that, but that's a decent bit of complexity.