When using org export, if I expert to ODT and open, Emacs opens the file internally, as an archive.

I want it to open the ODT file in Libreoffice.

what do I need to change to do that?

  • 1
    C-c C-e o O from an opened org file and the odt file is created and opened with LibreOffice. How did you proceed?
    – gigiair
    Jul 17, 2023 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


I am assuming that your are on Linux ...

Based on https://kjambunathan.github.io/org-mode-ox-odt/Getting-Started-with-ODT-export.html#Configuration, add the following to your init file

;; (setcdr (assq 'system org-file-apps-defaults-gnu) "xdg-open %s")
(setcdr (assq 'system org-file-apps-gnu) "xdg-open %s")

(advice-add 'org-open-file :around
            (lambda (orig-fun &rest args)
              ;; Work around a weird problem with xdg-open.
              (let ((process-connection-type nil))
                (apply orig-fun args))))

Then C-c C-e o O (small-o and capital-O) will open the file in LibreOffice.

The above snippet tells org that xdg-open is the system command for opening ODT or any other file (that org-mode doesn't know about)

gnu in org-file-apps-gnu tells you that you are configuring a Linux like system.

If you are on some other OSes, say Windows, find the configuration variable (=the counterpart of org-file-apps-gnu) that sets the system command for opening files, and change it to open (=or any other equivalent command)

In recent versions of Emacs browse-url-of-dired-file (=W in dired-mode) does the open in a system-specific way. IIRC, you can use a Elisp form (instead of a *shell* command for configuring the open command)

I have no experience with non-Linux systems ... so I cannot help much with those systems.

Start from M-x customize-variable org-file-apps or consult other related variables org-file-apps-macos, org-file-apps-windowsnt


When you run vanilla Emacs without configuration, odt files will open as a buffer if you have OpenOffice installed. See: https://lucidmanager.org/productivity/reading-ebooks-with-emacs/

It seems that some parts of Org mode modifies the auto-mode-alist variable that associated Open Office formats with archive-mode.

A workaround is to evaluate:

(use-package ox-odt
  :ensure nil
  (add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist
                 . doc-view-mode-maybe)))

This line corrects the bug in ox-odt.el which overrides the defaults.

  • Update: Org mode developers confirmed the bug and are working to fix it. Dec 9, 2023 at 19:43

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