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I'm working on updating the social status of a company.

The original document has been made with Org-Mode and exported to PDF.

In order to keep track of the modifications I'm putting the old parts into comments.

This is an updated part
# This is an original part

Ultimately, the old parts won't appear in the final new PDF. But before that, I have to send an HTML version (for reviewing), where the comments will appear. The reviewer doesn't use Emacs/Org-Mode, that's why I thought of sending him the document in the body of an email copied from an HTML export.

How could I export an HTML showing the commented old parts?

I read the Org-Mode manual (mainly Export Settings and The Export Dispatcher), but I didn't find the option.

2 Answers 2

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One way is to replace or delete the comment symbol when exporting to HTML.

(defun show-comments (backend)
  (when (org-export-derived-backend-p backend 'html)
    (save-excursion
      (while (not (eobp))
        (forward-line)
        (when (looking-at org-comment-regexp)
          (replace-match ": " ))))))

(add-to-list 'org-export-before-parsing-hook 'show-comments)

The following should make comments red.

(defun show-comments-in-red (backend)
  (when (org-export-derived-backend-p backend 'html)
    (save-excursion
      (while (not (eobp))
        (forward-line)
        (when (and (null (org-at-keyword-p))
                   (looking-at "^[ \t]*#\\(?: \\|$\\)*\\(.+\\)*"))
          (replace-match "#\+html: <div style=\"color:red;\">\\1</div>\n"))))))

(add-to-list 'org-export-before-parsing-hook 'show-comments-in-red)
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  • Thanks. So with this code, all # will be replaced by : ?
    – crocefisso
    Feb 12, 2023 at 16:32
  • When I execute the code, I have the following message : progn: Symbol’s value as variable is void: org-export-before-parsing-functionsInvalid face attribute :bold t
    – crocefisso
    Feb 12, 2023 at 16:36
  • 1
    You may have to require the ox library with (require 'ox).
    – jagrg
    Feb 12, 2023 at 20:53
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    It doesn't. There's no org-export-before-parsing-functions in Org version 9.5. Try replacing org-export-before-parsing-functions with org-export-before-parsing-hook and see if that works.
    – jagrg
    Feb 12, 2023 at 21:31
  • 1
    Thanks. It should skip keywords now.
    – jagrg
    Feb 12, 2023 at 23:12
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  • Function that export (HTML) text commented with # as blocks (code from @jagrg):
(defun comments-as-blocks (backend)
  (when (org-export-derived-backend-p backend 'html)
    (save-excursion
      (while (not (eobp))
        (forward-line)
        (when (looking-at org-comment-regexp)
          (replace-match ": " ))))))
  • If you want the comments to be shown in the exported format, regardless of the export backend, use this function instead:
(defun comments-as-blocks (backend)
  (save-excursion
    (while (not (eobp))
      (forward-line)
      (when (looking-at org-comment-regexp)
      (replace-match ": " )))))
  • Function that allows to activate (toggle) or desactivate # comments exports as blocks (replace org-export-before-parsing-hook with org-export-before-parsing-functions when Org-Mode ≥ 9.6):
(defun mda/toggle-comments-export ()
  (interactive)
  (if (get 'mda/toggle-comments-export 'state)
      (progn
        (setq org-export-before-parsing-hook (remove 'comments-as-blocks org-export-before-parsing-hook))
        (put 'mda/toggle-comments-export 'state nil))
    (progn
      (add-to-list 'org-export-before-parsing-hook 'comments-as-blocks)
      (put 'mda/toggle-comments-export 'state t))))

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