This is the official manual for the latest Org-mode release.

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12.18 Export in foreign buffers

Most built-in back-ends come with a command to convert the selected region into a selected format and replace this region by the exported output. Here is a list of such conversion commands:

Convert the selected region into HTML.
Convert the selected region into LaTeX.
Convert the selected region into Texinfo.
Convert the selected region into MarkDown.

This is particularly useful for converting tables and lists in foreign buffers. E.g., in an HTML buffer, you can turn on orgstruct-mode, then use Org commands for editing a list, and finally select and convert the list with M-x org-html-convert-region-to-html RET.