I'm using org-mode to write some documentation. After changing some wording, fill-paragraph has arranged things so there's a number followed by a full stop at the start of a line. Like this:

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
64. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Blah blah blah blah blah.

When I export to HTML, org-mode then makes an ordered list item of that one line, making things look a mess. Is there anything I can do to indicate that a particular number followed by a full stop should never be treated as a list item?

I use the list behaviour elsewhere, so I don't want to globally disable it.

  • 1
    Not quite an answer, but you could use soft-wrapping (visual-line-mode built-in, visual-fill-column-mode 3rd party) instead of hard-wrapping by fill-paragraph. Would it break other things for you?
    – T. Verron
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 9:21

2 Answers 2


Customize org-plain-list-ordered-item-terminator.

While generally, customizing what org considers or doesn't consider a list item is somewhat tricky, the option provides exactly what you need. You have three options:

    1. this is an item,
  • 2) this is an item, or

  • 3 both 1. and 2) are items.

[Note that stackexchange also seems to have a problem interpreting this.]

Select 2, and you should be set.

  • Thanks! Strange it doesn't allow more customization - both sequences strike me as quite likely to occur in text naturally. Something like "1/ " would make more sense, to my eyes. But now I know of the variable, I can have a look and maybe try to fix that myself...
    – Tom Seddon
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 20:34
  • 1
    Start with the variable org-list-full-item-re and the function org-item-re. Then you'd have to experiment and see if it is hardcoded somewhere else.
    – olaf b
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 12:10
  • 1
    Also org-element--set-regexps Then run org-element-update-syntax
    – olaf b
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 12:17

This has been a problem for me when creating documents in Danish, where "3rd quarter" is "3. kvartal". The solution I use in such situations is to replace the space after the dot by a non-breaking space by typing C-q 240. This is appropriate in such situations where the dot is not an end of sentence character and could perhaps be used as a work around in your situation.

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