Org’s default outline with stars and no indents can become too cluttered for short documents. For book-like long documents, the effect is not as noticeable. Org provides an alternate stars and indentation scheme, as shown on the right in the following table. It uses only one star and indents text to line with the heading:
* Top level headline | * Top level headline ** Second level | * Second level *** Third level | * Third level some text | some text *** Third level | * Third level more text | more text * Another top level headline | * Another top level headline
To turn this mode on, use the minor mode,
lines that are not headlines are prefixed with spaces to vertically
align with the headline text146.
To make more horizontal space, the headlines are shifted by two stars.
This can be configured by the
variable. Only one star on each headline is visible, the rest are
masked with the same font color as the background.
Note that turning on
To globally turn on
org-indent-mode for all files, customize the
To turn on indenting for individual files, use ‘STARTUP’ keyword as follows:
Indent on startup makes Org use hard spaces to align text with headings as shown in examples below.
Indent text to align with the headline.
*** Third level more text, now indented
Org supports this with paragraph filling, line wrapping, and structure editing, preserving or adapting the indentation as appropriate147.
Org can make leading stars invisible. For global preference,
configure the variable
org-hide-leading-stars. For per-file
preference, use these file ‘STARTUP’ options:
#+STARTUP: hidestars #+STARTUP: showstars
With stars hidden, the tree is shown as:
* Top level headline * Second level * Third level ...
Because Org makes the font color the same as the background color
to hide to stars, sometimes
org-hide face may need tweaking to
get the effect right. For some black and white combinations,
grey90 on a white background might mask the stars better.
Using stars for only odd levels, 1, 3, 5, …, can also clean up
the clutter. This removes two stars from each level148.
For Org to properly handle this cleaner structure during edits
and exports, configure the variable
set this per-file, use either one of the following lines:
#+STARTUP: odd #+STARTUP: oddeven
To switch between single and double stars layouts, use M-x org-convert-to-odd-levels and M-x org-convert-to-oddeven-levels.
org-indent-mode also sets the
for indenting and wrapping long lines of headlines or text. This
minor mode handles
visual-line-mode and directly applied settings
Also see the variable
Because ‘LEVEL=2’ has 3 stars, ‘LEVEL=3’ has 4 stars, and so on.