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Org mode escape characters

From: David Boss
Subject: Org mode escape characters
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2022 02:36:21 +0000 (UTC)

I generally run in Fundamental mode. Since ASCII is really only a 7-bit code, I use the high bit to indicate italics. I wrote a Java program for printing; it makes all characters 16-bit, despite their starting as 8-bit,
so no problem. For emacs, I wrote the necessary hooks to catch high bits in a file's 8-bit characters; on readin, the high bits are cleared, and characters intended to be italic get an italic property, instead; on writeout, characters with the italic property get their high bits set; no sweat, the hooks work.

I want to be able to copy an emacs buffer, with some characters having italic mode set, and paste that into an email compose buffer, and have the italics set in the email buffer; this should work, but it doesn't, who
knows, who cares, why not. But if I copy/paste a .odt file, with italicized characters, the italics show up as intended, in the email buffer. But, how to generate the .odt file? Pandoc, of course, but pandoc only eats emacs
files if they're Org mode. So, I wrote a lisp function, to generate the Org mode file I need, from  fundamental-mode-plus-hooks emacs. And yes, pandoc will eat the Org mode file, as intended, and convert it to .odt, as intended, and I can copy/paste the .odt, and italics show up, as intended, in the email buffer. Except,

Org mode is very crude: it indicates italics by surrounding text by slashes, and so,

what if the original text contained slashes, intended as ordinary text, not escape characters? What if the slashes themselves are intended to be italicized?

Is there some way to tell Org mode to use different escape characters? Or to make ordinary emacs characters with the italic property, copy and paste, like God intended?

                                                                                                                                                                                         David Boss

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