Within an entry of the outline tree, hand-formatted lists can provide additional structure. They also provide a way to create lists of checkboxes (see Checkboxes). Org supports editing such lists, and every exporter (see Exporting) can parse and format them.
Org knows ordered lists, unordered lists, and description lists.
Items belonging to the same list must have the same indentation on the first line. In particular, if an ordered list reaches number ‘10.’, then the 2-digit numbers must be written left-aligned with the other numbers in the list. An item ends before the next line that is less or equally indented than its bullet/number.
A list ends whenever every item has ended, which means before any line less or equally indented than items at top level. It also ends before two blank lines. In that case, all items are closed. Here is an example:
* Lord of the Rings My favorite scenes are (in this order) 1. The attack of the Rohirrim 2. Eowyn's fight with the witch king + this was already my favorite scene in the book + I really like Miranda Otto. 3. Peter Jackson being shot by Legolas - on DVD only He makes a really funny face when it happens. But in the end, no individual scenes matter but the film as a whole. Important actors in this film are: - Elijah Wood :: He plays Frodo - Sean Astin :: He plays Sam, Frodo's friend. I still remember him very well from his role as Mikey Walsh in /The Goonies/.
Org supports these lists by tuning filling and wrapping commands to deal with them correctly, and by exporting them properly (see Exporting). Since indentation is what governs the structure of these lists, many structural constructs like ‘#+BEGIN_’ blocks can be indented to signal that they belong to a particular item.
If you find that using a different bullet for a sub-list—than that
used for the current list-level—improves readability, customize the
org-list-demote-modify-bullet. To get a greater difference
of indentation between items and theirs sub-items, customize
The following commands act on items when point is in the first line of
an item—the line with the bullet or number. Some of them imply the
application of automatic rules to keep list structure intact. If some
of these actions get in your way, configure
to disable them individually.
Items can be folded just like headline levels. Normally this works
only if point is on a plain list item. For more details, see the
org-cycle-include-plain-lists. If this variable is set
integrate, plain list items are treated like low-level
headlines. The level of an item is then given by the indentation of
the bullet/number. Items are always subordinate to real headlines,
however; the hierarchies remain completely separated. In a new item
with no text yet, the first TAB demotes the item to
become a child of the previous one. Subsequent TABs move
the item to meaningful levels in the list and eventually get it back
to its initial position.
Insert new item at current level. With a prefix argument, force a new heading (see Structure Editing). If this command is used in the middle of an item, that item is split in two, and the second part becomes the new item13. If this command is executed before item’s body, the new item is created before the current one.
Insert a new item with a checkbox (see Checkboxes).
Jump to the previous/next item in the current list, but only if
org-support-shift-select is off14. If not, you can still use
paragraph jumping commands like C-UP and
C-DOWN to quite similar effect.
Move the item including subitems up/down15, i.e., swap with previous/next item of same indentation. If the list is ordered, renumbering is automatic.
Decrease/increase the indentation of an item, leaving children alone.
Decrease/increase the indentation of the item, including subitems. Initially, the item tree is selected based on current indentation. When these commands are executed several times in direct succession, the initially selected region is used, even if the new indentation would imply a different hierarchy. To use the new hierarchy, break the command chain by moving point.
As a special case, using this command on the very first item of
a list moves the whole list. This behavior can be disabled by
org-list-automatic-rules. The global indentation of
a list has no influence on the text after the list.
If there is a checkbox (see Checkboxes) in the item line, toggle the state of the checkbox. In any case, verify bullets and indentation consistency in the whole list.
Cycle the entire list level through the different itemize/enumerate
bullets (‘-’, ‘+’, ‘*’, ‘1.’, ‘1)’) or a subset of them, depending
org-plain-list-ordered-item-terminator, the type of list, and
its indentation. With a numeric prefix argument N, select the Nth
bullet from this list. If there is an active region when calling
this, all lines are converted to list items. With a prefix
argument, the selected text is changed into a single item. If the
first line already was a list item, any item marker is removed from
the list. Finally, even without an active region, a normal line is
converted into a list item.
Turn a plain list item into a headline—so that it becomes a subheading at its location. See Structure Editing, for a detailed explanation.
Turn the whole plain list into a subtree of the current heading. Checkboxes (see Checkboxes) become ‘TODO’, respectively ‘DONE’, keywords when unchecked, respectively checked.
This command also cycles bullet styles when point is in on the
bullet or anywhere in an item line, details depending on
Sort the plain list. Prompt for the sorting method: numerically, alphabetically, by time, or by custom function.
When using ‘*’ as a bullet, lines must be indented so that they are not interpreted as headlines. Also, when you are hiding leading stars to get a clean outline view, plain list items starting with a star may be hard to distinguish from true headlines. In short: even though ‘*’ is supported, it may be better to not use it for plain list items.
You can filter out any of them by configuring
You can also get ‘a.’, ‘A.’, ‘a)’ and ‘A)’ by configuring
org-list-allow-alphabetical. To minimize confusion with normal
text, those are limited to one character only. Beyond that limit,
bullets automatically become numbers.
If there’s a checkbox in the item, the cookie must be put before the checkbox. If you have activated alphabetical lists, you can also use counters like ‘[@b]’.
If you do not want the item to be split, customize the
If you want to cycle around items that way, you may customize
org-list-use-circular-motion for a cyclic behavior.