17.1 Completion

Org has in-buffer completions. Unlike minibuffer completions, which are useful for quick command interactions, Org’s in-buffer completions are more suitable for content creation in Org documents. Type one or more letters and invoke the hot key to complete the text in-place. Depending on the context and the keys, Org offers different types of completions. No minibuffer is involved. Such mode-specific hot keys have become an integral part of Emacs and Org provides several shortcuts.


Complete word at point.

  • At the beginning of an empty headline, complete TODO keywords.
  • After ‘\’, complete TeX symbols supported by the exporter.
  • After ‘:’ in a headline, complete tags. Org deduces the list of tags from the ‘TAGS’ in-buffer option (see Setting Tags), the variable org-tag-alist, or from all tags used in the current buffer.
  • After ‘:’ and not in a headline, complete property keys. The list of keys is constructed dynamically from all keys used in the current buffer.
  • After ‘[[’, complete link abbreviations (see Link Abbreviations).
  • After ‘[[*’, complete headlines in the current buffer so that they can be used in search links like: ‘[[*find this headline]]
  • After ‘#+’, complete the special keywords like ‘TYP_TODO’ or file-specific ‘OPTIONS’. After option keyword is complete, pressing M-TAB again inserts example settings for this keyword.
  • After ‘STARTUP’ keyword, complete startup items.
  • When point is anywhere else, complete dictionary words using Ispell.