I use Pandoc to convert from HTML and Markdown to org-mode. The conversion leaves lots of extraneous org-mode PROPERTIES drawers. How can I direct org-mode to delete all PROPERTIES drawers?

ADDITION: I'm using this shell script to run the conversion.

function pandoc2org () {
    basename=${1%%.*}                       # remove old file extension
    pandoc -s -S "$1" -o $basename.org      # name file as oldfile.org 
  • 1
    Why not a shell script to remove all lines starting with : ? You can pipe the output of pandoc directly into it. Or are there other drawers after the conversion too?
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:24
  • @dangom How would I do that? Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:26
  • 1
    Tried pandoc -t org file.md | sed '/^:/ d' to do that right now. Problem is the indentation (pandoc adding whitespaces). I'll get it working and post as an answer in a min
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:32

2 Answers 2


If you don't mind using a shell script to accomplish what you want, you can try:

pandoc -t org file.md | sed -E "/^[[:space:]]+:/ d" > file.org

This will remove all lines starting with one (or more) spaces followed by a semicolon.

I believe you can fit it into your script by doing the following:

function pandoc2org () {
    pandoc -s -S "$1" -t org | sed -E "/^[[:space:]]+:/ d" > $basename.org

You can find an explanation of the function here.

  • 1
    Let me know if it doesn't work
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:37
  • Thanks! How would I add this to my existing script? Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:44
  • @incandescentman just added an edit
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 23:57
  • Do you also know how to get the sed command to replace non-breaking spaces (codepoint 160, #o240, #xa0) with regular spaces? I tried adding sed 's/\xA0/ /g' but it didn't work. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 3:08
  • 1
    Reading the documentation you'll see that the -S option you are using in your script forces the insertion of non-breaking spaces. If there is no particular reason for you to use it, remove it.
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 9:14

I use

perl -0777 -pe 's/^\s*(:PROPERTIES:(.|\n)*?:END:)|(<<.*?>>)\s*$//gm'

to remove the extra stuff.

Also see this question.

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