Skip to content
An OS X application that handles org-protocol:// links.
Python Rich Text Format
Branch: master
Clone or download
This branch is 2 commits ahead of aaronbieber:master.

Latest commit

Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.


Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
Org Protocol

Org Protocol Handler

The Org Protocol Handler is a small AppleScript/Python application that registers itself as the handler for all org-protocol:// links.

If your system wants to visit an org-protocol:// link, it will pass the value to this application, which will urldecode it and pass it to emacsclient. The net effect is that you can use a bookmarklet to build an org-protocol:// link in your browser for things like saving the current page as a link in Org and that bookmarket will launch and focus Emacs.


In order for this application to work for you, you will need to be sure that it is pointed to the correct copy of emacsclient on your system.

Out of the box, it will run /usr/local/bin/emacsclient, which should be the correct copy if you are using Emacs from Homebrew. If you are not, or if that path differs in some way, you will need to create a configuration file.

Create a file called ~/.orgprotocol.ini. Note the leading period in the filename. This file should simply contain these two lines:


How does it work?

In OS X, any application that exists in your root /Applications directory and that contains a CFBundleURLTypes stanza in its Info.plist will be registered as a handler for the URL schemes described there.

In the case of this application, the stanza looks like this:


In my understanding, the CFBundleURLName makes no difference at all, it just needs to be set to something. When any program on your system attempts to visit a URL beginning with org-protocol://, OS X will launch this application and hand it the URL through some known OS X API mechanism.

In AppleScript, accessing that data is quite simple, you need only define an on open location subroutine that accepts the whole URL as a string and then you can do what you like with it.

This application is designed to accept an org-protocol:// URL and it simply launches emacsclient and hands that URL to it. This enables your already-running Emacs server to be triggered by org-protocol:// links from anywhere on your system.

Neither the emacsclient program nor Emacs itself will decode the URL; it expects to receive a raw URL with spaces and all, but the URL will need to be encoded to preserve spaces (especially) when the handler is called by your browser, so this handler uses a small Python script to decode the URL and also extract the page title from it so we can display a notification.


In short, so that you can save things from your web browser directly into Org capture templates or simply save the links to pages for later insertion into Org documents.

You can’t perform that action at this time.