I use org-mode to document stuff and usually export it to pdf (via latex) and html.

If the \\ characters are at the end of a line, it forces a newline character when exporting to both pdf and html.

But I would like to know how to force a newline character in-between a line when exporting to html. It would be helpful to have this solution so that I can have multi-line titles in html exports too.


#+TITLE: First Line of Title \\ Second Line of Title

The above exports to 2 lines in pdf export but the \\ characters are retained in html export (as they are not at the end of the line).

How can I format the title so that multi line titles export fine in both formats?

2 Answers 2


Org mode 8 no longer accepts LaTeX characters like that. The correct way to do it is embed export snippets in the title:

#+TITLE: Foo @@latex:\\@@ Bar

I assume therefore that if you want to export newlines in both LaTeX and HTML, the code might have to look like this:

#+TITLE: Foo @@latex:\\@@ @@html:<br>@@ Bar

Source: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2014-09/msg00466.html

If such newline characters are needed to be added at multiple places in the document, replacing this verbose @@latex:\\@@ @@html:<br>@@ string with an org mode MACRO would be better suited.

A MACRO definition like below can be placed at the top of the document or in a common "org config" file that's included in your org documents:

#+MACRO: NEWLINE @@latex:\\@@ @@html:<br>@@

The MACRO can then be used for formatting the title as below:

#+TITLE: Foo {{{NEWLINE}}} Bar

The advantages of using the MACRO approach are:

  • The org mode document is easier to read
  • If the need arises to change the definition of {{{NEWLINE}}} to support a new export format, then that change needs to be done at just one place.


#+MACRO: NEWLINE @@latex:\\@@ @@html:<br>@@ @@ascii:|@@

NOTE: @@ascii:|@@ won't insert a newline in ascii exports; it will simply place the pipe character | wherever {{{NEWLINE}}} was used in the org doc.

Finally, the #+SUBTITLE keyword may also help.

  • A related question: Would you know how to convey a newline for ascii exports? @@ascii:\n@@ doesn't work. Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 19:04
  • Doesn't appear to work. I'd guess a feature request is needed to get this implemented.
    – mankoff
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:09
  • 1
    You mean the newlines in ascii don't work, correct? Otherwise your solution works for html and pdf exports. When newlines for ascii is supported, I simply have to update the NEWLINE macro. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:15
  • 1
    Clarification (spelled out in the mailing list link): "no longer accepts LaTeX characters like that" applies to the fields AUTHOR, TITLE and DATE, not org-mode in general.
    – Hendy
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 20:52

I'm not entirely sure there wouldn't be any unwanted side effects, but the following might work

(push (cons "\\\\\\\\" "<br />") org-html-special-string-regexps)

Kinda lucky that the list of special string expansions is extensible in the HTML exporter, because it's not in the LaTeX exporter...

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