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15.6 Summary of in-buffer settings

In-buffer settings start with ‘#+’, followed by a keyword, a colon, and then a word for each setting. Org accepts multiple settings on the same line. Org also accepts multiple lines for a keyword. This manual describes these settings throughout. A summary follows here.

C-c C-c activates any changes to the in-buffer settings. Closing and reopening the Org file in Emacs also activates the changes.

#+ARCHIVE: %s_done::

Sets the archive location of the agenda file. This location applies to the lines until the next #+ARCHIVE line, if any, in the Org file. The first archive location in the Org file also applies to any entries before it. The corresponding variable is org-archive-location.


Sets the category of the agenda file, which applies to the entire document.

#+COLUMNS: %25ITEM ...

Sets the default format for columns view. Org uses this format for column views where there is no COLUMNS property.

#+CONSTANTS: name1=value1 ...

Set file-local values for constants that table formulas can use. This line sets the local variable org-table-formula-constants-local. The global version of this variable is org-table-formula-constants.

#+FILETAGS: :tag1:tag2:tag3:

Set tags that all entries in the file will inherit from here, including the top-level entries.

#+LINK: linkword replace

Each line specifies one abbreviation for one link. Use multiple #+LINK: lines for more, see Link abbreviations. The corresponding variable is org-link-abbrev-alist.

#+PRIORITIES: highest lowest default

This line sets the limits and the default for the priorities. All three must be either letters A–Z or numbers 0–9. The highest priority must have a lower ASCII number than the lowest priority.

#+PROPERTY: Property_Name Value

This line sets a default inheritance value for entries in the current buffer, most useful for specifying the allowed values of a property.

#+SETUPFILE: file or URL

The setup file or a URL pointing to such file is for additional in-buffer settings. Org loads this file and parses it for any settings in it only when Org opens the main file. If URL is specified, the contents are downloaded and stored in a temporary file cache. C-c C-c on the settings line will parse and load the file, and also reset the temporary file cache. Org also parses and loads the document during normal exporting process. Org parses the contents of this document as if it was included in the buffer. It can be another Org file. To visit the file (not a URL), C-c ' while the cursor is on the line with the file name.


Startup options Org uses when first visiting a file.

The first set of options deals with the initial visibility of the outline tree. The corresponding variable for global default settings is org-startup-folded with a default value of t, which is the same as overview.

overview         top-level headlines only
content          all headlines
showall          no folding of any entries
showeverything   show even drawer contents

Dynamic virtual indentation is controlled by the variable org-startup-indented

indent     start with org-indent-mode turned on
noindent   start with org-indent-mode turned off

Aligns tables consistently upon visiting a file; useful for restoring narrowed table columns. The corresponding variable is org-startup-align-all-tables with nil as default value.

align      align all tables
noalign    don’t align tables on startup

Whether Org should automatically display inline images. The corresponding variable is org-startup-with-inline-images, with a default value nil to avoid delays when visiting a file.

inlineimages   show inline images
noinlineimages don’t show inline images on startup

Whether Org should automatically convert LaTeX fragments to images. The variable org-startup-with-latex-preview, which controls this setting, is set to nil by default to avoid startup delays.

latexpreview   preview LaTeX fragments
nolatexpreview don’t preview LaTeX fragments

Logging the closing and reopening of TODO items and clock intervals can be configured using these options (see variables org-log-done, org-log-note-clock-out and org-log-repeat)

logdone             record a timestamp when an item is marked DONE
lognotedone         record timestamp and a note when DONE
nologdone           don’t record when items are marked DONE
logrepeat           record a time when reinstating a repeating item
lognoterepeat       record a note when reinstating a repeating item
nologrepeat         do not record when reinstating repeating item
lognoteclock-out    record a note when clocking out
nolognoteclock-out  don’t record a note when clocking out
logreschedule       record a timestamp when scheduling time changes
lognotereschedule   record a note when scheduling time changes
nologreschedule     do not record when a scheduling date changes
logredeadline       record a timestamp when deadline changes
lognoteredeadline   record a note when deadline changes
nologredeadline     do not record when a deadline date changes
logrefile           record a timestamp when refiling
lognoterefile       record a note when refiling
nologrefile         do not record when refiling
logdrawer           store log into drawer
nologdrawer         store log outside of drawer
logstatesreversed   reverse the order of states notes
nologstatesreversed do not reverse the order of states notes

These options hide leading stars in outline headings, and indent outlines. The corresponding variables are org-hide-leading-stars and org-odd-levels-only, both with a default setting of nil (meaning showstars and oddeven).

hidestars  hide all stars on the headline except one.
showstars  show all stars on the headline
indent     virtual indents according to the outline level
noindent   no virtual indents
odd        show odd outline levels only (1,3,...)
oddeven    show all outline levels

To turn on custom format overlays over timestamps (variables org-put-time-stamp-overlays and org-time-stamp-overlay-formats), use

customtime overlay custom time format

The following options influence the table spreadsheet (variable constants-unit-system).

constcgs   constants.el should use the c-g-s unit system
constSI    constants.el should use the SI unit system

For footnote settings, use the following keywords. The corresponding variables are org-footnote-define-inline, org-footnote-auto-label, and org-footnote-auto-adjust.

fninline    define footnotes inline
fnnoinline  define footnotes in separate section
fnlocal     define footnotes near first reference, but not inline
fnprompt    prompt for footnote labels
fnauto      create [fn:1]-like labels automatically (default)
fnconfirm   offer automatic label for editing or confirmation
fnplain     create [1]-like labels automatically
fnadjust    automatically renumber and sort footnotes
nofnadjust  do not renumber and sort automatically

To hide blocks on startup, use these keywords. The corresponding variable is org-hide-block-startup.

hideblocks   Hide all begin/end blocks on startup
nohideblocks Do not hide blocks on startup

The display of entities as UTF-8 characters is governed by the variable org-pretty-entities and the keywords

entitiespretty  Show entities as UTF-8 characters where possible
entitiesplain   Leave entities plain
#+TAGS: TAG1(c1) TAG2(c2)

These lines specify valid tags for this file. Org accepts multiple tags lines. Tags could correspond to the fast tag selection keys. The corresponding variable is org-tag-alist.


This line is for formulas for the table directly above. A table can have multiple #+TBLFM: lines. On table recalculation, Org applies only the first #+TBLFM: line. For details see Using multiple #+TBLFM lines in Editing and debugging formulas.


These lines provide settings for exporting files. For more details see Export settings.


These lines set the TODO keywords and their significance to the current file. The corresponding variable is org-todo-keywords.

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