I want to have python snippets in org thus:

def foo(x):
# Some python code

where PYT is a latex environment for python code using (say) listings.

The problem is that while org does translate #+begin_PYT to \begin{PYT} it modifies (transcodes??) the body; so for example the python [[a]] becomes an org link a!

As a result using vanilla org I have to do

#+begin_export latex
def foo(x):
# Some python code

With dozens of small snippets those two extra lines are quite an overhead

So options (I can think of!)

  1. There should be a way in vanilla org to tell org that a PYT block should be left alone (not transcoded)
  2. Using org-special-blocks-extra there should be a way but there is very scant documentation.
  3. Write a 'pre-transcode' filter that transforms #+begin_PYT to "#+begin_export latex\n\\begin{PYT}"

Can someone help out with any of these (or some other!) way to do this?

  • Why not have a python source block with the code exported? #+begin_src python :exports code ... #+end_src - that will use either listings or minted depending on the setting of org-latex-listings.
    – NickD
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 4:30
  • @NickD Does this work for non standard languages that org doesn't know about? PYT was just an example. More realistically I need a mix of python and a homegrown language for which a detailed listings parameterization has been created
    – Rusi
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 5:03
  • I imagine not, since it does not work with PYT.
    – NickD
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 5:10
  • You could also achieve it, using example blocks with the '#+ATTR_LATEX: :environment pyt' attribute. Then you need only one extra line. Of course, you could create a snippet for creating such blocks. Note that you might have to escape some characters. Despite this option, it would probably still be nice(r) to achieve this via a special block and some configuration variable. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 6:08
  • org-special-blocks-extra does not provide an out-of-the-box solution to make the [[a]] syntax not become org-links (otherwise, the, I would say, not so scant documentation of org-special-block-extras does explain, how to achieve what you want. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


The answer to your query is in the docstring of org-latex-custom-lang-environments.

Specifically, you want your ox-latex setup in such a way that when the exporter hits org-latex-src-block, the code takes this path.

  1. Create somefile.org with following contents
#+begin_src PYT
  def foo(x):
  # Some python code

  1. emacs -Q
  2. Copy the following snippet to *scratch* and do M-x eval-buffer
(define-derived-mode PYT-mode prog-mode "PYT"
  "Major mode for PYT files.")

  '(org-latex-custom-lang-environments '((PYT "PYT")))
  '(org-latex-listings 'minted))

  1. C-x C-f somefile.org, followed with C-c C-e C-b l L will give you this
def foo(x):
# Some python code

  • Tnx upvoted. I may need to change minted to listings I guess. Then it (should) work (on phone now)
    – Rusi
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 11:52
  • I just did (setq org-latex-custom-lang-environments '((PYT "PYT"))) and it worked but things inside [[...]] looked funny inside emacs (latex result ok). Adding (define-derived-mode PYT-mode prog-mode "PYT" "Major mode for PYT files.") and inside emacs is also fine. Why is the minted (or listings) needed?? Anyhow accepted
    – Rusi
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 12:43
  • O I see whats happening. Without the (setq org-latex-listings 'listings) org emits a \begin{verbatim}. With it, org properly makes it \begin{PYT}
    – Rusi
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 13:44

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