Currently my orgmode (v8.3.4), when exporting to LaTeX (and maybe other formats but I haven't checked), generates a new line for a comment line or a block of consecutive comment lines. This is undesirable because in LaTeX, that will create a new paragraph. When I write, I often need to comment a line or two in the middle of a paragraph but don't want to split that paragraph into two. Currently, because of this behavior of orgmode, I have to move those commented lines to after the paragraph, which may be confusing when I revise the text.

Below is a minimal example. The orgmode source is:

First sentence.
# Commented sentence.
Last sentence.

which is exported to LaTeX by orgmode as (omitting the preamble):


First sentence.

Last sentence.

There is an empty line between the first and last sentences, which results in two paragraphs instead of one.

Is there any way to stop this behavior of orgmode? A comment line, or a block of comment lines, should be exported to 0 byte / character, not even a new line. This is the behavior of LaTeX when processing comments.

  • 3
    I guess this is a bug in org-mode. It may be worth discussing this on the org-mode mailing list.
    – ph0t0nix
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 9:38
  • 1
    As one of the main org mode devs, Nicolas Goaziou confirmed, this behavior is expected, not a bug. Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 14:16
  • both of the above solutions work for # comments, but unfortunately none works for #+BEGIN_COMMENT comments #+END_COMMENT a new line is inserted in the LaTeX export in the place where the block comment was present... is there any easy way to fix that? EDIT (hell-yeah, there is): Based on the answer provided by @John, the following works for both the # comments and for the #+BEGIN_COMMENT blocks: (defun delete-org-comments (backend) (loop for comment in (reverse (org-element-map (org-element-parse-buffer) 'comment 'identity)) do (setf (buffer-substring (org-element-property :begin comment) Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 11:30

2 Answers 2


Try something like this. Put this code block in your document, and run it. The LaTeX will be in a buffer Org LATEX Export.

* build :noexport:
#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
(defun delete-org-comments (backend)
  (loop for comment in (reverse (org-element-map (org-element-parse-buffer)
                    'comment 'identity))
    (setf (buffer-substring (org-element-property :begin comment)
                (org-element-property :end comment))

(let ((org-export-before-processing-hook '(delete-org-comments)))
  (switch-to-buffer (org-latex-export-as-latex)))

Building on John's answer, here's an alternative function that uses org-element-extract-element and org-element-interpret-data:

(defun delete-org-comments (backend)
  (let ((tree (org-element-parse-buffer)))
    (org-element-map tree 'comment #'org-element-extract-element)
    (insert (org-element-interpret-data tree))))

The org-element API isn't particularly obvious, but it is powerful--you just have to explore it a bit on your own. :) Of course, John's is probably faster for large documents since it just modifies the buffer instead of re-interpreting the tree into a string.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.