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I have an org table and I want to take an existing column of org links of the form:

[[http://blah.com/blah/blah/foo][foo]]

And create an adjacent column containing only the description - i.e. foo.

For example using a made-up function:

#+TBLFM: $4='(get-description-from-link $3)

I've looked at How can I get all file links in one org-mode file? and also the function:

org-link-get-parameter

These seem to be doing roughly what I want, but rely on parsing a whole buffer, where I only want to deal with a single column in a single table. Thus the function should take a link as a string of form [[link][desc]] and return desc.

The end goal is to make this a macro that creates the derived column, and copies its contents to another buffer, before deleting the derived column. Most of this seems possible apart from the table formula.

Any ideas?

1

You can use org-bracket-link-regexp for extracting the parts of bracket links:

   | link                                   | description                |
   |----------------------------------------+----------------------------|
   | [[http://blah.com/blah/blah/foo][foo]] | foo                        |
   | [[http://missing.description]]         | http://missing.description |
   #+TBLFM: $2='(let ((str $1)) (string-match org-bracket-link-regexp str) (or (match-string 3 str) (match-string 1 str)))

If you want to encapsulate the stuff in a function, just do it:

(defun get-description-from-link (str)
  "Get description from bracket link in STR."
  (string-match org-bracket-link-regexp str) (or (match-string 3 str) (match-string 1 str)))

Therewith the table would look as follows:

| link                                   | description                |
|----------------------------------------+----------------------------|
| [[http://blah.com/blah/blah/foo][foo]] | foo                        |
| [[http://missing.description]]         | http://missing.description |
#+TBLFM: $2='(get-description-from-link $1)

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