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2.3 Visibility cycling

Outlines make it possible to hide parts of the text in the buffer. Org uses just two commands, bound to TAB and S-TAB to change the visibility in the buffer.

TAB

Subtree cycling: Rotate current subtree among the states

,-> FOLDED -> CHILDREN -> SUBTREE --.
'-----------------------------------'

When called with a prefix argument (C-u TAB) or with the shift key, global cycling is invoked.

S-TAB and C-u TAB

Global cycling: Rotate the entire buffer among the states

,-> OVERVIEW -> CONTENTS -> SHOW ALL --.
'--------------------------------------'
C-u C-u C-u TAB

Show all, including drawers.

When Emacs first visits an Org file, the global state is set to OVERVIEW, i.e. only the top level headlines are visible. This can be configured through the variable org-startup-folded, or on a per-file basis by adding a startup keyword overview, content, showall, like this:

#+STARTUP: content