I want to add to org-latex-classes new class, namely "exam" (as described here: https://www.sharelatex.com/templates/exams/exam), here's a preview of an example document beginning:



\newcommand{\class}{Math I}
\newcommand{\term}{Winter 2014}
\newcommand{\examnum}{Exam 1}
\newcommand{\timelimit}{60 Minutes}

\runningheader{\class}{\examnum\ - Page \thepage\ of \numpages}{\examdate}


\begin{tabular*}{\textwidth}{l @{\extracolsep{\fill}} r   @{\extracolsep{6pt}} l}
\textbf{\class} & \textbf{Name:} & \makebox[2in]{\hrulefill}\\
\textbf{\term} &&\\
\textbf{\examnum} &&\\
\textbf{\examdate} &&\\
\textbf{Time Limit: \timelimit} & Teaching Assistant & \makebox[2in]{\hrulefill}



\question[1] Calculate 2+2.


I've read answer to this question and documentation for org-latex-classes variable, but I don't understand how to apply given syntax to my case (there are no sections or subsections in "exam", etc.).

I would like to be able to write my exams in org mode where for example new headlines would be different questions, number of points would be handled by property drawers, #+TITLE would be \examnum or \class and #+DATE would be \examdate, etc.

Is it possible? If yes - is there a documentation which shows how to translate org-mode markup into particular LaTeX document markup with more detail than org-latex-classes doc?

1 Answer 1


It is kind of possible but would normally require many little tweaks, since the exam-class is a bit outside more common classes. Here are some pointers to how it could be done.

For customizing title things, there is org-latex-title-command which you could define to be the whole header table and fill in title, and date etc. with elements %t, %d, etc. (see docstring).

Getting headlines as questions is a trickier problem. The easiest part would perhaps be to define an entry in org-latex-classes like:

("exam" "\\documentclass[11pt]{exam}[MORE_PREAMBLE_STUFF]"
  ("\\question[%s]" . "\\question[%s]")

And only have the points as the headline for the heading. I understand that this would be unsatisfactory. You could also define a custom function for headline formatting (set org-latex-format-headline-function to this function) but this would again only accept certain arguments and can’t read additional headline properties as I understand it.

But, with a a class entry like the one defined above, you could use

(defun org-latex-format-headline-function-exam
    (_todo _todo-type _priority _text tags _info)
  (or (car tags) "")

as headline function and let the first tag ((car tags)) be the point for the question.

  • Thank you. I will have to try your solution (meanwhile I've been using some yasnippets but it doesn't solve my problem). As a matter of a fact I don't need the points counter in my exams, so I guess the main thing to deal with would be the translation of headlines to questions and lists to {parts} environment. Other thing would be \fillwithdottedlines command which I use a lot (I use rather open questions than test for my exams). Thanks again.
    – caseneuve
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 16:54

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