# Org-mode markup between square brackets

My question concerns org-mode. I'm trying to add the characters [ and ] to the org-emphasis-regexp-components in order to mark up words between square brackets. So I get for example the following effect:

[/bla bla/] → [/bla bla/]

I also want to export it to LaTeX.

I've already tried the solutions described bellow, but without success:

Inline verbatim and code with quotes in Org-mode

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1218238/how-to-make-part-of-a-word-bold-in-org-mode

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/24169333/how-can-i-emphasize-or-verbatim-quote-a-comma-in-org-mode

I can't understand what I'm doing wrong. I would appreciate your help. Thank you.

• This morning, having had some rest, I did some more tests to find out what's going wrong. I got the markup working inside square brackets only in alliance with the "part of a word" markup as described here. In other words, when I simply add the characters [ and ] to the org-emphasis-regexp-components code it doesn't work (actually all markup features go crazy). But when I add [ and ] plus [:alpha:] it works perfectly, displayed on screen as well as on LaTeX export. Why? – gabrielpdp1979 Apr 20 '18 at 8:16
• Maybe it's related to the fact that [ and ] are used in org to delimit links? – Vladimir Alexiev Apr 25 '18 at 11:31
• The org-emphasis-regexp-components variable consists of multiple parts. Presumably you're adding [ to pre and ] to post. Where are you putting [:alpha:]? – glucas Apr 25 '18 at 15:34
• @glucas Yes, I'm adding the brackets exactly as you presume. As for the [:alpha:], I'm puting it both to pre and post markup characters. I didn't try other combinations. As I said, it works, but it's a little annoying, so I enable the feature only for some specific export jobs, otherwise I just keep the default settings. That's all until now. – gabrielpdp1979 Apr 25 '18 at 19:19
• Maybe you're right… But I can't see all that conflict in using square brackets both as links delimiters and as pre and post markup characters... – gabrielpdp1979 Apr 25 '18 at 19:22

• Try this workaround using #+MACRO:

#+MACRO: sbem  @@latex:[\emph{\$1}]@@

{{{sbem(blah blah)}}}


When exported to LaTeX the macro is replaced with:

[\emph{blah blah}]


This code was tested using:
emacs version: GNU Emacs 25.2.1 (x86_64-unknown-cygwin, GTK+ Version 3.22.10)
Org mode version: 9.1.2

Here's what I have in my config for this:

(with-eval-after-load 'org
; chars for prematch
(setcar org-emphasis-regexp-components            "     ('\"{“”$\\") ; chars for postmatch (setcar (nthcdr 1 org-emphasis-regexp-components) "$ -   .,!?;:''“”\")}/\\“”")
; forbidden chars
(setcar (nthcdr 2 org-emphasis-regexp-components) "    \t\r\n,\"")
; body
(setcar (nthcdr 3 org-emphasis-regexp-components) ".")
; max newlines
(setcar (nthcdr 4 org-emphasis-regexp-components) 1)
(org-set-emph-re 'org-emphasis-regexp-components org-emphasis-regexp-components))


Per this stack exchange discussion.