When I type an underscore _ in org-mode, it automatically generates math mode, i.e. $_{}$ and it puts the cursor between the braces. Is there a way to disable this when in edit mode but not in math mode?

  • What does C-h c _ RET say? It should say _ runs the command org-self-insert-command. If you have any minor modes enabled, what are they? What do you mean by edit mode and math mode in this context? What IS the context? – NickD Mar 10 '20 at 18:07
  • Since the underscore is the emphasis char for underlining I cannot imagine that what you describe is standard behavior. I guess you cannot reproduce the effect if you start emacs with emacs -Q. We cannot help you if you do not tell us what in your setup causes that behavior. On the other hand I assume that if you tell us the cause the solution will be quite simple. – Tobias Mar 10 '20 at 22:35
  • @NickD @Tobias thank you, you are both right. I now understand that this was a feature of the cdlatex layer I am using. Therefore the question is kind of redundant. Do you think it is better to simply delete it? – bobsacameno Mar 11 '20 at 18:40
  • Not necessarily: it might help somebody who does the same thing that you did. But that assumes that you can put a reasonably complete answer together (and yes, you can can answer your own question): without that, the question would be useless, but if you can explain what caused the problem and how to avoid it, that would be great - I, for one, would read it with interest. – NickD Mar 11 '20 at 19:23

At the end my question is not very smart. I am using cdlatex to type equations and math easily in orgmode. Then the answer is in the documentation under "PAIR INSERTION of (), [], {}, and $$":

Also, the keys _ and ^ will insert "_{}" and "^{}", respectively, and, if necessary, also a pair of dollar signs to switch to math mode.

I didn't assume that this layer operates outside of equations, so I did not know this is the issue.

I am not sure if this is the desired behavior of cdlatex or not. Personally, I would prefer to be able to write underscores without the automatic addition of _${}$.


I got the behavior I wanted by setting up properly smartparens and by using org-cdlatex-mode (note that it is not cdlatex-mode). In this way the cdlatex behavior regarding underscores described above is only implemented inside equations (namely, inside $ $, \( \), latex equations etc). When typing text, it does not generate any extra characters when typing _.

See the proper configuration in the answer of my other question here.

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