ox-md-title: Document titles for ox-md.el

Ox-md-title.el adds document titles to Markdown files generated with ox-md and derivatives.


Org documents often have their document titles set in a +#title export setting at the start of the file. The title is used when exporting to other formats. For example, when exporting to HTML, the title is used in the resulting document’s <title> and <h1> tags.

Markdown doesn’t have an equivalent to Org’s titles. Instead, it’s common to add a top-level headline to the start of the document.

Ox-md, the Markdown exporter shipped with Org mode, adheres to Markdown’s lack of explicit titles.1 Even though Org documents can have titles through the title export setting, ox-md produces Markdown files with the titles omitted. For example, the current document has export settings, including a title:

#+title: ox-md-title: Document titles for ox-md.el
#+author: Jeff Kreeftmeijer
#+date: 2023-03-10
#+options: toc:nil

[[https://github.com/jeffkreeftmeijer/ox-md-title.el][Ox-md-title.el]] adds document titles to Markdown files generated with ox-md and derivatives.

* Introduction

Exporting with org-md-export-as-markdown produces a Markdown document without a title headline:

[Ox-md-title.el](https://github.com/jeffkreeftmeijer/ox-md-title.el) adds document titles to Markdown files generated with ox-md and derivatives.

# Introduction

Ox-md-title deviates from the Markdown standard and adds document titles to behave like the other org exporters. Once enabled, it adds the document title in front of the exported document, and shifts the sub headlines one level down:

# ox-md-title: Document titles for ox-md.el

[Ox-md-title.el](https://github.com/jeffkreeftmeijer/ox-md-title.el) adds document titles to Markdown files generated with ox-md and derivatives.

## Introduction


Ox-md-title is disabled by default, even after requiring and enabling the library. It only adds titles to Markdown export when org-md-title is non-nil:

(defgroup org-export-md-title nil
  "Options for org-md-title."
  :tag "Org Markdown Title"
  :group 'org-export
  :version "24.4"
  :package-version '(Org . "8.0"))

(defcustom org-md-title nil
  "Non-nil means to include the title in the exported document."
  :group 'org-export-md-title
  :version "24.4"
  :package-version '(Org . "8.0")
  :type 'boolean)

The package works by advising two functions. First, it advises org-md-template by prepending the document title. The title is built by calling out to org-md--headline-title with the headline style and title extracted from the info variable:

(defun org-md-title--advise-template (orig-fun &rest args)
  (let* ((info (nth 1 args))
	 (style (plist-get info :md-headline-style))
	 (title (plist-get info :title))
	 (subtitle (plist-get info :subtitle)))
     (when (and org-md-title title)
       (org-md--headline-title style 1 (org-export-data title info) nil))
     (when (and org-md-title subtitle)
       (org-md--headline-title style 2 (org-export-data subtitle info) nil))
     (apply orig-fun args))))

Because a new title is prepended to the document, any already-existing headlines need their levels bumped up. The second advice intercepts calls to org-export-get-relative-level, which is the internal function the export backends use to determine the level for the current headline. It increments the headline level by one if org-md-title is enabled and if the current document has a title set:

(defun org-md-title--advise-level (orig-fun headline info)
  (+ (funcall orig-fun headline info)
     (if (and org-md-title (plist-get info :title))

Finally, the added functions are added as advice:

(defun org-md-title-add ()
  (advice-add 'org-export-get-relative-level :around #'org-md-title--advise-level)
  (advice-add 'org-md-template :around #'org-md-title--advise-template))

(defun org-md-title-remove ()
  (advice-remove 'org-export-get-relative-level #'org-md-title--advise-level)
  (advice-remove 'org-md-template #'org-md-title--advise-template))


Ox-md-title is currently not available through any of the package registries. Instead, install it from the repository direcly. Install the package with use-package and straight.el, and enable it by calling org-md-title-add:

(use-package ox-md-title
  (ox-md-title :type git :host github :repo "jeffkreeftmeijer/ox-md-title.el")

Alternatively, download ox-md-title.el and require it manually:

(require 'ox-md-title)

After calling org-md-title-add, set thte org-md-title variable to add document titles when exporting with ox-md:

(let ((org-md-title t))

  1. A patch to add titles was rejected to keep ox-md compatible with standard Markdown. Instead of adding support for titles in the main implementation, it’s suggested that features like this should be implemented in more specific backends:

    The point of “md” export back-end is not to provide the same features as full-fledged ones like “latex” or “html”. I wrote it to take care of the boring stuff of markdown syntax. Anyone willing to write a back-end with a different Markdown flavour just needs to concentrate of the differences between the original syntax.