Is there a way to assign tags to list items and not just to headings? I can't seem to find anything relevant in the orgmode manual.

  • 1
    tags: no cf. the org syntax. but you can use description lists.
    – rasmus
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 10:03
  • i'm sorry, I don't get it could you please elaborate?
    – sfranky
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 10:29
  • a description list is - tag :: desc, but there's no - desc :tag:.
    – rasmus
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


Lists are intended to be very light and lack most of the features headings can have. List entries can not have tags, keywords or properties.

  • 1
    pardon the ignorance, i'm completely new to orgmode (emacs as well!), but when you do a daily todo list, are you supposed to insert your items as subheadings ? shouldn't headings consist of other stuff below?
    – sfranky
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 15:34
  • 1
    That's how I do it. Each "todo" item is a headline with a "TODO" keyword. Checkboxes are useful for things that don't need any of the extra "stuff" headlines have. Grocery lists for example.
    – erikstokes
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 23:26

If you just want to put a tag-like message when exporting plain lists, you can define a macro like this:

#+MACRO: tag @@latex:\hfill{}\textsc{$1}@@ @@html:&#xa0;&#xa0;&#xa0;<span class="tag"><span class="$1">$1</span></span>@@

And use it:

* Heading with its real tag  :mytag:
  - Plain list item with its simulated tag  {{{tag(mytag)}}}

It is only useful to get a message similar to a tag when exporting to PDF/Latex or HTML, of course it is not a real Org tag.

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