How can I create a time stamped file name with the org header arg:

#+export_file_name: <timestamp-var> + File name

There is a variable org-time-stamp, is there a way to append it to the static file name to create files with time stamp at time of export in the file name?


  • There is no such variable AFAIK. There is a function named org-time-stamp but that's a different kettle of fish.
    – NickD
    Mar 11, 2020 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


Add this to your init file:

(add-hook 'before-save-hook 'time-stamp)

and this to the Org file:

# Local Variables:
# time-stamp-format: "%04y-%02m-%02d_%f"
# time-stamp-pattern: "^#\\+export_file_name: %%$"
# End:

The value of #+export_file_name: should update every time the file is saved.

  • Thanks! Doesn't work for me, not sure why!
    – Gaurav
    Mar 21, 2020 at 3:26
  • 1
    Make sure you (1) add the variables at the end of the file, and (2) kill and reopen the file (or M-x normal-mode) to set them. You also have to add #+export_file_name: nil near the top of the file (and start with some initial value or it won't work).
    – jagrg
    Mar 22, 2020 at 1:57
  • Thanks, that worked. More details on the formatting on the emacs wiki here and the time format in the emacs docs here. %f is the variable for the file name.
    – Gaurav
    Mar 23, 2020 at 4:31

It seems like

(org-export-to-file 'pdf (concat "success_" (format-time-string #%FT%H:%M:%S") ".pdf"))

is close to right. The call to concat seems to work, but the call to org-export-to-file doesn't.

Even if I had made this work, I'm not sure how to insert it so that it's run automatically by the exporter.


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