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The manual says :dir is working directory and :output-dir is output directory. It is a a bit confusing. If I don't set output dir, shouldn't it generate output files in the working directory?

For example, this works as expected, outputting the figure in :dir:

#+begin_src ditaa :file demo-ditaa-simpleboxes.png :dir /tmp/
  +---------+
  |         |
  | Foo     |
  |         |
  +----+----+---+
  |Bar |Baz     |
  |    |        |
  +----+--------+
#+end_src

#+RESULTS:
[[file:/tmp/demo-ditaa-simpleboxes.png]

However, in the following example, if I only specify :dir but not :output-dir, the plot will be saved in the dir of the buffer, not :dir.

#+begin_src R :results file graphics replace :file demo-r-plot.png :dir ~/work-dir 
  plot(1:10)
#+end_src

And for the following example, the foo/foo.png isn't created; however, if I delete DIR property and let it create attach dir from the ID, foo.png is created successfully in the attach dir... It seems :output-dir is buggy?

:PROPERTIES:
:ID:       20230727T095322.203310
:DIR:      foo
:END:
#+title: abc
#+property: header-args+ :output-dir (org-attach-dir-get-create)

#+begin_src R :results file  graphics :file foo.png
  plot(1:10)
#+end_src

#+RESULTS:
[[attachment:foo.png]]

by the way, if I set :output-dir to some existing relative path like ../foo/spam, it fails to create foo.png too.

My emacs/org version is :

Org mode version 9.6.6 (release_9.6.6 @ /Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/Resources/lisp/org/)
GNU Emacs 29.0.92 (build 1, x86_64-apple-darwin18.7.0, NS appkit-1671.60 Version 10.14.6 (Build 18G9323)) of 2023-06-18
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  • What version of Org mode are you running? I run more-or-less latest upstream (Org mode version 9.7-pre (release_9.6.7-566-gdbb391)) and both code block produce their output where :output-dir says they should.
    – NickD
    Jul 26, 2023 at 15:10
  • I updated the question and clarified version.
    – RNA
    Jul 27, 2023 at 2:11
  • The versions are recent enough, but I cannot reproduce the problems you are describing: the first three work for me (assuming that ~/work-dir in the second case and ./foo in the third case exist as writable directories already). There are three directories of interest: the directory where the Org mode file lives (in my case, that's /tmp' in all cases), the :dir` directory which becomes the current working directory of the script in the code block and the :output-dir which is to be specified relative to the :dir directory....
    – NickD
    Jul 27, 2023 at 4:25
  • If the :dir directory is not specified then the directory where the Org mode file lives is the :dir directory. I have not tried the "by the way..." fourth case because I don't know what settings you have. Can you go back and specify the directory of the Org mode file in all cases? And in the last case, provide a complete example that I can cut and paste to try out?
    – NickD
    Jul 27, 2023 at 4:28

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