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A.5 Tables and lists in arbitrary syntax

Since Orgtbl mode can be used as a minor mode in arbitrary buffers, a frequent feature request has been to make it work with native tables in specific languages, for example LaTeX. However, this is extremely hard to do in a general way, would lead to a customization nightmare, and would take away much of the simplicity of the Orgtbl mode table editor.

This appendix describes a different approach. We keep the Orgtbl mode table in its native format (the source table), and use a custom function to translate the table to the correct syntax, and to install it in the right location (the target table). This puts the burden of writing conversion functions on the user, but it allows for a very flexible system.

Bastien added the ability to do the same with lists, in Orgstruct mode. You can use Org's facilities to edit and structure lists by turning orgstruct-mode on, then locally exporting such lists in another format (HTML, LaTeX or Texinfo.)