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13.7 ASCII and Latin-1 and UTF-8 export

ASCII export produces an output file containing only plain ASCII characters. This is the simplest and most direct text output. It does not contain any Org markup. Latin-1 and UTF-8 export use additional characters and symbols available in these encoding standards. All three of these export formats offer the most basic of text output for maximum portability.

On export, Org fills and justifies text according to the text width set in org-ascii-text-width.

Org exports links using a footnote-like style where the descriptive part is in the text and the link is in a note before the next heading. See the variable org-ascii-links-to-notes for details.

ASCII export commands

C-c C-e t a (org-ascii-export-to-ascii)

C-c C-e t l

C-c C-e t u

Export as an ASCII file with a ‘.txt’ extension. For ‘’, Org exports to ‘myfile.txt’, overwriting without warning. For ‘myfile.txt’, Org exports to ‘myfile.txt.txt’ in order to prevent data loss.

C-c C-e t A (org-ascii-export-to-ascii)

C-c C-e t L

C-c C-e t U

Export to a temporary buffer. Does not create a file.

ASCII specific export settings

The ASCII export back-end has one extra keyword for customizing ASCII output. Setting this keyword works similar to the general options (see Export Settings).


The document subtitle. For long subtitles, use multiple ‘#+SUBTITLE’ lines in the Org file. Org prints them on one continuous line, wrapping into multiple lines if necessary.

Header and sectioning structure

Org converts the first three outline levels into headlines for ASCII export. The remaining levels are turned into lists. To change this cut-off point where levels become lists, see Export Settings.

Quoting ASCII text

To insert text within the Org file by the ASCII back-end, use one the following constructs, inline, keyword, or export block:

Inline text @@ascii:and additional text@@ within a paragraph.

#+ASCII: Some text

Org exports text in this block only when using ASCII back-end.

ASCII specific attributes

ASCII back-end recognizes only one attribute, ‘:width’, which specifies the width of a horizontal rule in number of characters. The keyword and syntax for specifying widths is:

#+ATTR_ASCII: :width 10

ASCII special blocks

Besides ‘#+BEGIN_CENTER’ blocks (see Paragraphs), ASCII back-end has these two left and right justification blocks:

It's just a jump to the left...

...and then a step to the right.