I'm writing a Lilypond typesetting tutorial in Org to be published on a web page. I would like to exclude the line with set-default-paper-size from html export, cause it doesn't belong to the tutorial but is needed to shrink the size of the resulting png. How could this be done?

#+begin_src lilypond :file c-major.png :exports both
#(set-default-paper-size "a9" 'landscape) % How to exclude this line from export???

{ c d e f g a b c }

An alternative would be if babel could invoke lilypond with the -e option when evaluating the code block. Any other ideas how to hide specific code lines are appreciated as well.

EDIT: The following solution works fine for a single code block:

#+begin_src lilypond :file c-major.png :exports both :prologue "#(set-default-paper-size \"a8landscape\")"
{ c d e f g a b c }

All I have to do is to escape the double quotes. Now I try the same for a default setting in .emacs:

(add-to-list 'org-babel-default-header-args:lilypond
             '((:prologue . "#(set-default-paper-size \"a8landscape\")")))

Then the following error message is thrown:

org-babel-exp process lilypond at line 38...
Wrong type argument: stringp, (:prologue . "#(set-default-paper-size \"a8landscape\")")

This is the full backtrace:

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (void-function stringp\?)
  (stringp\? "#(set-default-paper-size \"a8landscape\")")
  eval((stringp\? "#(set-default-paper-size \"a8landscape\")") nil)
  call-interactively(eval-last-sexp nil nil)
  • Why not change this to :export results? Or do you want the source and the results appear in a different export (s.a. LaTeX), but not in HTML? There's also a post-processing hook for exports. I.e. you could add an Emacs Lisp function to run on the contents of the generated file after it's exported. That's not a very general solution, but would work for a one-of case.
    – wvxvw
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 6:54
  • A notation typesetting tutorial with no typesetting code doesn't seem to be the most useful thing to me, does it? ;-)
    – barrios
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


Take a look at the prologue header argument for Babel source blocks. You can use it to prepend some text to a code block prior to execution, and, like any other header argument, it isn't included in HTML export.

For example:

#+NAME: prologue-example.sh
#+BEGIN_SRC sh :prologue "echo yep; exit 0"
echo "nope"

#+RESULTS: prologue-example.sh
: yep
  • This exactly does the trick! Even better your prologue link shows how to setup a default prologue for every specific source code block, in my case lilypond.
    – barrios
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 16:49

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