Org Mode Basics

Org Mode Manual:

Structure of document

You make a heading with an asterix. Number of asterixes indicates. heading level.

Plain lists: use "-" or "+". You can put a description item before the content, seperated with a "::" Ordered lists begin with a number and period or parenthesis.

Visibility cycling

TAB for subtree, C-u TAB for full file

Drawers and Properties

Drawers keep information with a headline, but you normally don't see it when you view the item. They look like this:

stuff inside here

You need to specify the possible drawer names up front. Out of the box you get the PROPERTIES and CLOCK drawers. You can specify more either in the init file or for the file itself by using:

XXX what do I use here?

A property is a special kind of drawer which hold tag value pairs. The drawer name is "PROPERTIES"

C-c p to insert a property structure into the item. C-c C-x p to insert a particular property (if necessary, the property drawer is created as well). C-c C-c s to use completion.


Simple: just put a :tag1:tag2: after the headline. For one tag just use a :tag1:

C-c C-q to insert a tag on the headline. Useful because of tag completion, which is based on the currently used tags in the buffer

Searching with tags and properties

To search with tags/properties it's C-a m, and then the tag/property name. There's a syntax to the search:

tag&property=value (and)
tag|property=value (or)
tag1-tag2 (all tag1 hedlines except those that also have tag2)


You archive an item (move it to an archive file) and its children with C-c $ (org-archive-subtree). This helps keep your org file tidy and speeds up agenda generation.

If you have more than a few items to archive, then things get slightly more complicated. You can't use C-u (numerical prefix) with the org-archive-subtree function (at least, I tried it and it didn't work). But you can use macros.

You now have a macro that you can execute by typing C-x e. And now you can use the C-u trick to run this multiple times. If you want to archive the next 10 itmes, for exmaple, you can type C-u 10 C-x e.

Save the macro by typing M-x name-last-kbd-macro. Insert into your .emacs file by opeing your .emacs file and typing M-x insert-kbd-macro.

Now you can type C-u 10 M-x your-macro-name


I use priorities sparingly, mostly if I really want to do a task that day, or if I'm trying to pick out a bunch of tasks to do that day. I use them only to make the tasks go to the top of my task list.

C-c , will prompt for a priority in the agenda or the org file. A is high, C is low. B is the default if you specify nothing. SPC removes the priority.

CategoryEmacs CategoryOrgmode

OrgModeBasics (last edited 2010-04-03 18:17:09 by DesmondRivet)