I have recently started using org-mode as an electronic lab notebook for my work, and would like to combine these files with the files that I have set up in my old lab notebook, which was done in LaTeX.

The way my old notebook works is that each day goes under a file, e.g. 20161129.tex, and this file is added to the notebook using the \input{} command, so there is no preamble or \begin{document} in 20161129.tex, and it just starts with \section{2016-11-29 Tuesday}.

Given my file in org-mode, e.g.,

* Logbook
** 2016
*** 2016-11 November
**** 2016-11-29 Tuesday
***** Validation cases for subgrid
Some text and some math ($a + b = c$) to export.

I would like to export the 2016-11-09 subtree so that the resulting TeX file only contains the following content:

\section{2016-11-29  Tuesday}
Some text and some math ($a + b = c$) to export.

Preferably, this would be auto-exported and saved with the date (2016-11-29.tex), but having the same thing in a LaTeX buffer would be almost as good.

1 Answer 1


C-c C-e opens the export dialog.

At that point, C-b to toggles 'body-only' - set this to 'on' to ignore all the preamble stuff.

And finally, C-s allows you to select the scope for export. In this case, select subtree and you should have what you're after:

\section{2016-11-29 Tuesday}
\subsection{Validation cases for subgrid}
Some text and some math ($a + b = c$) to export.

For details, see (org) The export dispatcher

  • Thanks, swore that I had tried that before. I must have tried compiling with the 'body-only' option which threw an error. Is there a way to set the level of the exported subtree to a section instead of title? If I set the cursor on the subtree for a specific day, it exports the tree name 2016-11-29 Tuesday as the title, and I'd like it to be at the section level.
    – chasely
    Nov 29, 2016 at 22:07
  • See my update -that's what I am getting, with emacs -Q. It does seem to be fussy about where point is when you call the exporter, sometimes it takes the child of the current subtree instead of the subtree i'm on ?
    – Tyler
    Nov 29, 2016 at 22:48
  • Interesting, I still have the same issue running emacs -Q. My first section is \section{Validation cases for subgrid}. Guess I will need to look into this a little more and report back.
    – chasely
    Nov 30, 2016 at 0:47
  • I've marked this as correct, as it does 99% of what I need. The one thing I was not able to get was consistent behavior of getting the sections correct. To remedy this, after I am done with a day I add the :noexport: tag to the daily subtree header, and then export from the monthly subtree using the process Tyler outlined. This gets me the behavior I want with minimal fuss.
    – chasely
    Dec 1, 2016 at 14:23

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