I'm trying to get org-capture and mu4e working together nicely. Org-capture is already correctly set up; I can capture links to source code files with the following template:

(setq org-capture-templates
          '(("t" "Todo" entry (file+headline "" "General To-Dos")
             "** TODO %?\n %i\n %A\n")))

I'd like to capture links to emails in mu4e. I have org-mu4e required, and org-capture-link works as expected in the mu4e message view. Great so far.

Now, I try to use the same template to use org capture an email. This always fails with the error, Capture abort: (args-out-of-range 99) (The number varies; I assume this is a code point, but cannot get it to render as anything other than a fairly opaque number).

Using the debugger, I've traced this error to the following code block in org-capture-fill-template:

  ;; Simple %-escapes
  (goto-char (point-min))
  (while (re-search-forward "%\\([tTuUaliAcxkKInfF]\\)" nil t)
(unless (org-capture-escaped-%)
  (when (and initial (equal (match-string 0) "%i"))
      (let* ((lead (buffer-substring
            (point-at-bol) (match-beginning 0))))
    (setq v-i (mapconcat 'identity
                 (org-split-string initial "\n")
                 (concat "\n" lead))))))
  (replace-match (or (eval (intern (concat "v-" (match-string 1)))) "")
         t t)))

As best as I can tell, everything up to replace-match is working perfectly. The error occurs when replace-match tries to replace a template character (using any of the link characters %a, %A, %l) with the captured link to the mu4e message. Instead of correctly doing the replace, args-out-of-range is thrown. Normally, I'd assume there was no correctly set match for replace-match to act on -- but match-string returns a correct match result, as does inspecting the match in the debugger.

I'm using Emacs 24.5.1, Org 8.3.4, and mu4e 0.9.16. I've tried this on two different Macs and a Fedora 22 machine; the behavior is absolutely consistent.

  • 99 is probably the character 'c' ((format "%c" 99)). Does that ring a bell ? I'm not sure why replace-match would throw such an error though. Can you get a backtrace (toggle-debug-on-error) ?
    – YoungFrog
    Apr 4, 2016 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


To my overwhelming exasperation, the problem has turned out to be: emoji-cheat-sheet-plus-display-mode, and the order in which it was activated in org mode.

I had a hook like so:

(defun text-settings ()

(add-hook 'org-mode-hook 'text-settings)

Somehow -- and I have no idea how -- this was causing the horrible args-out-of-range error above. Removing emoji-cheat-sheet-plus-display-mode from org has fixed everything.

In conclusion: how do computers even work?

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