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Org HTML Export: Permanent Section Link

You probably already know that, when ox-html exports a HTML page, all the section links (links to headers) looks like #orgacb420a. Then if someone saves a link to your blog, it would look like https://site.org#orgacb420a. First, that doesn’t look good; second, this link is fragile—if you export your Org file again, section ids change, this link breaks.

Lee Hinman wrote a blog about generating custom id’s for permanent section link: Emacs Org-mode: Use good header ids! The basic idea is sound but I don’t like how he stores the custom ids. He directly inserts them as properties under each header. Also he still uses randomly generated uuid, while I think the standard practice is to use human-readable title.

Standing on the shoulder of Lee Hinman, I wrote my version that generates section links base on the header, and doesn’t insert anything to my Org file. A header “Report Emacs bug” will have a section link #Report-Emacs-bug. This link stays unchanged across exports, as long as you don’t change the header.

So, how do we use CUSTOM_ID but don’t insert them into the Org file? That’s easy for me because my existing export function creates a temporary buffer and inserts the Org file’ content, then works in that buffer. Modifications made in this export process don’t affect the original file. So I just need to set header properties like Lee does in his post.

This is the code I use to insert CUSTOM_ID:

(defun luna-publish-populate-header-id ()
  "Add CUSTOM_ID property to each header in current buffer."
  (let (id-list)
    (cl-labels ((get-id ()
                        (let ((id (url-encode-url
                                    " " "-"
                                    (org-get-heading t t t t))))
                              (dup-counter 1))
                          (while (member id id-list)
                            (setq id (format "%s-%d" id dup-counter))
                            (cl-incf dup-counter))
                          (push id id-list)
       (lambda ()
         (org-entry-put (point) "CUSTOM_ID" (get-id)))))))

Just to make the example complete, here is my export function in pseudo code:

  (insert-file-contents org-file)
  (org-export-to-file 'html html-file))

Written by Yuan Fu

First Published on 2020-07-06 Mon 12:46

Last modified on 2020-09-12 Sat 16:10

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