I'm deciding whether to use AUCTeX or Org to write my Master's thesis. I tried Org mode with the new Org-cite + Citar package, and I'm very happy about it. Then, trying AUCTeX, I found its RefTeX reference, cross-reference and label capabilities more complete, such as having a TOC, referncing labels, images and equations.

My question is: is it possible to import these features in Org? I have heard about Org-ref, but it's poorly documented and (iirc) heavily uses Helm/Ivy (which I'd avoid, having switched to Vertico).

  • Possible, almost certainly yes, but it might not happen in time for you to use for writing your thesis. I suggest you take the best fit to your needs as it currently exists and go with that.
    – NickD
    Aug 25, 2022 at 2:09
  • TOC handling is native in org. What do you mean by having a TOC?
    – crocefisso
    Aug 25, 2022 at 7:29
  • See this: github.com/dangom/org-thesis - maybe will be useful.
    – Ian
    Aug 25, 2022 at 8:29
  • Nice explanations on org-cite here
    – crocefisso
    Sep 24, 2022 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


I think your best bet currently is to keep using Org-cite and Citar for citations and use Org-ref v3 for table, figure and equation cross-references within the document. (I have a vague memory that Org-ref was moving toward being completion-system agnostic, but I haven't checked.) An alternative for the second functionality could be Oxr, which is a (WIP?) cross-reference package from the maintainer of Citar. As for TOC I'm not sure what you mean. If you just need a good UI to navigate headings there are several solutions around for Org documents, e.g., Consult has consult-org-heading.

  • Thanks! for TOC I was looking for something like AUCTeX's C-c =. Consult seems ok. Btw, I find org-ref extremely undocumented. Can you point me to some resources? Aug 25, 2022 at 15:52
  • Well, I don't know about "extremely undocumented" as it has a long manual, but maybe you could also look into the author's YouTube video series about Org-ref v3, e.g., this is a hig-level overview of the system.
    – Simka
    Aug 25, 2022 at 17:36
  • My bad, I've seen the manual but I struggled to export it due to different errors/missing parts. Right now, after your comment, I noticed the section "Build notes", with instructions. I'll have a look at it, thanks! Aug 25, 2022 at 18:15

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