I am planning to (re)organize my ahk code as code blocks into an org file and tangle this file to obtain the source file.

This is my ahk-guivho.org input file, with two code blocks, empty for the sake of this post:

#+TITLE:      AHK config file
+AUTHOR:      Guido Van Hoecke
+EMAIL:       (concat "guivho" at-sign "gmail.com")

#+PROPERTY:  header-args   :tangle ahk-guivho.ahk
#+PROPERTY:  header-args+  :padline yes
#+PROPERTY:  header-args+  :eval never
#+PROPERTY:  header-args+  :eval no
#+PROPERTY:  header-args+  :exports code

* HideWindow - hides the active window
  HideWindow(title="", x=0, y=0) { ;hides the active window

* ActivateWindow
  ActivateWindow(title="") {


I expect org-babel-tangle to produce a file called ahk-guivho.ahk with two empty subs (HideWindow and ActivateWindow) but it does not.

It simply complains: Tangled 0 code blocks from ahk-guivho.org

I am pretty sure that my org and babel setup is ok: I tangle my .emacs from an org file without any problems.

I do realize that ahk is not among the officially supported languages.

But when I edit a code block from the org file, I get a buffer with ahk-mode as expected.

Do I need to initialize something somewhere to be able to tangle ahk code from an org file?

  • You just need to add a :tangle keyword with the path you want - so #+BEGIN_SRC ahk :tangle ahk-guivho.ahk Doing that for both blocks will append as you expect. The tangle path can also be set at the file level
    – gregoryg
    Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 17:15
  • @gregoryg: the OP has done that with a header-arg specified as a property. It seems though that after adding the #+PROPERTY: lines, he did not refresh the buffer with C-c C-c on at least one of them. I suspect that if he reverts the buffer from the file, everything should work. As a minor point, the #+AUTHOR: and #+EMAIL: lines are missing the initial # but that should not affect the tangling at all (and after the # is added, the buffer needs to be refreshed again with C-c C-c on one of those lines, or the buffer reverted, or saved and killed and the file reopened).
    – NickD
    Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 21:09
  • @NickD you are right - sorry I missed that. But I tested the file and got the OP's error, but tangling worked when adding the keyword to the code blocks!
    – gregoryg
    Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 22:48
  • See my answer below for an explanation.
    – NickD
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


I'm pretty sure the problem here is that you did not refresh the buffer before tangling. You can do that by pressing C-c C-c on one of the keyword lines (a line starting with #+), because then Org mode activates changes to in-buffer settings; alternatively, you can save the file and revert the buffer from the file; or save the file, kill the buffer and reopen the file - see In buffer settings in the manual.

Here's an explanation of @gregoryg's findings in the comment: when you first add a #+PROPERTY line in the file (or you cut and paste the OP's Org mode file into a new local file), the #+PROPERTY: settings are NOT active: you need to activate them as pointed out above. So if you try to tangle before activating, you get the Tangled 0 code blocks message. If you then activate them, it all works as it should.

If OTOH you add the :tangle foo header to the code blocks instead, you don't need to activate anything: the babel code parses the code blocks in their entirety and it tangles the two code blocks successfully.

I hope that clarifies the situation.

  • This is a very clear explanation and right on the dot! Thank you so much, it works! Hurrah!!!
    – guivho
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 18:23

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