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5.4 Priorities

If you use Org mode extensively, you may end up with enough TODO items that it starts to make sense to prioritize them. Prioritizing can be done by placing a priority cookie into the headline of a TODO item, like this

*** TODO [#A] Write letter to Sam Fortune

By default, Org mode supports three priorities: ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. ‘A’ is the highest priority. An entry without a cookie is treated as equivalent if it had priority ‘B’. Priorities make a difference only for sorting in the agenda (see Weekly/daily agenda); outside the agenda, they have no inherent meaning to Org mode. The cookies are displayed with the face defined by the variable org-priority-faces, which can be customized.

Priorities can be attached to any outline node; they do not need to be TODO items.

C-c , (org-priority)

Set the priority of the current headline. The command prompts for a priority character ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’. When you press SPC instead, the priority cookie, if one is set, is removed from the headline. The priorities can also be changed “remotely” from the agenda buffer with the , command (see Agenda Commands).

S-UP (org-priority-up)
S-DOWN (org-priority-down)

Increase/decrease the priority of the current headline48. Note that these keys are also used to modify timestamps (see Creating Timestamps). See also Conflicts, for a discussion of the interaction with shift-selection-mode.

You can change the range of allowed priorities by setting the variables org-highest-priority, org-lowest-priority, and org-default-priority. For an individual buffer, you may set these values (highest, lowest, default) like this (please make sure that the highest priority is earlier in the alphabet than the lowest priority):




See also the option org-priority-start-cycle-with-default.

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