My exported pdf and and .tex file both include a name inherited from the logged-in unix account, I am having trouble over-riding this setting with #+LATEX_HEADER: \author {} in the .org file.

Watch for Tom Smith vs. Joe Brown in this code. The question is, where does org-mode derive the Tom Smith from? my .bib file includes the lines at the top, I don't see any setting to explain this.

% This BibTeX bibliography file was created using BibDesk.
% Created for Tom Smith at YYYY day t
% Saved with string encoding Unicode (UTF-8) 

my .org file says

#+LATEX_HEADER:\author{Joe Brown}

When I look in the exported .tex it has 2 lines

\author{Joe Brown}
\author{Tom Smith}

the compiled pdf features Tom Smith Where does org-mode get the \author field from if it's not declared in

#+LATEX_HEADER:\author{} ?

Is it coming from ~/.emacs.d/.init.d ? Neither Tom Smith nor author are anywhere in my .spacemacs.

2 Answers 2


Each export back-end has AUTHOR keyword, associated with global variable user-full-name. If it's empty, the \author will not be exported. You could redefine it into the file (buffer) with

#+AUTHOR: Joe Brown

This will set only one \author, which is defined into the buffer even if the user-full-name is not empty.

Org didn't check that you define author with LATEX_HEADER: \author, it just outputs these lines.

  • I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but if I don't put Joe Brown in the .org there is \author{Tom Smith} in the .tex (that it's pulling from the os) If I do put Joe Brown in the .org the .tex has \author{Joe Brown} first and \author{Tom Smith} on the next line. The outputted .pdf shows the 2nd value (from the os) whether than the attempted override from the .org. Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 11:23
  • 2
    If you interested why LaTeX use second author, that's because it redefine first occurrence. You need to remove your LATEX_HEADER: \author... and put into the org file only AUTHOR: ... Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 12:22

Emacs documentation:

M-x describe variable user-full-name

user-full-name is a variable defined in ‘C source code’. Its value is "Tom Smith" :: The full name of the user logged in.

You can customize this variable.
solution: Click on customize and change to Joe Brown inside emacs.

further explanation: the full name of the logged in user is not the same as your short-account-name. It can be obtained from a shell prompt by:

finger `whoami` | awk -F: '{ print $3 }' | head -n1 | sed 's/^ //'

If you desire the pdfs you write in org mode to have a different name than your unix user full name, you can override the value inherited from the os.

  • This doesn't answer the question in a meaningful way
    – Dodgie
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 17:17
  • 1
    Which is really funny, because I just noticed that you're also the one who asked the question
    – Dodgie
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 18:58

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