I'm new to org mode. Something about levels in org mode confused me but i found no info around (both in tutorials and Google).

I can put text under any heading, and the text is treated as a child node of the heading. But I wonder, is it possible to lay some text in the same level with some other headings?


* Heading Level 1
    Some Text A
    ** Heading Level 2
        Some Text B
    Some Text C

My purpose is to put 'Some Text A' and 'Some Text C' under 'Heading Level 1' but parallel to 'Heading Level 2'.

The default way of org mode is that 'Some Text C' is treated as a child of 'Heading Level 2' (just after 'Some Text B'), which is not I want. Noted that 'Some Text A' performs well.

  • 1
    Org-mode is built on the same principle as you would write a book. Imagine you had a book, where a chapter would stop midway, interrupted by another chapter, and pop in later. (I think, there actually was a book where this happened, an African fairytale Anansi the Spider, but it's really uncommon to design books that way) :).
    – wvxvw
    May 6, 2015 at 11:31
  • @wvxvw got it and thx :)
    – jiahao
    May 6, 2015 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


There is an FAQ entry that discusses this question and suggests some work arounds.

Edit: this is the relevant fragment of the FAQ entry:

The short answer to the question is no. Org-mode adheres to the cascading logic of outlines, in which a section is closed only by another section that occupies an equal or greater level.

Here are some workarounds:

  1. You can use inline tasks to create non-folding subsections. See the documentation in org-inlinetask.el, which is part of the org-mode distribution.
  2. You can create a temporary heading, such as "** Continue main section" and then remove it when you are ready to export.
  3. You can create a separate outline heading (e.g., * ACTIONS), creating TODOs there with links to the relevant sections of your main text.
  • You can copy paste the relevant info here and quote it. As of current state, the answer looks more like a comment because it's only a link. It's OK to copy stuff here verbatim from an external site as long as you reference it and that provides a satisfactory complete answer. May 6, 2015 at 10:59
  • Thanks for updating. This is better but that still is an incomplete answer. Workaround 2 is simple enough. But the other two workarounds need some elaboration. May 6, 2015 at 11:09
  • @kaushalmodi Do you suggest replicating other parts of the org-mode manual here?
    – dmakarov
    May 6, 2015 at 11:10
  • It's depressing to hear that since I have to always include footnotes in a section which may seem a little bit awkward. Thank you anyway.
    – jiahao
    May 6, 2015 at 11:32
  • @dmakarov If replicating solves the purpose and provides a satisfactory answer, then do that. But usually a good answer is simply something that you tried out yourself. In this case, "See the documentation in org-inlinetask.el" is not satisfactory. Also I personally did not understand how workaround 3 solves this problem. The best way would be to elaborate how you would use all of the 3 workarounds. May 6, 2015 at 11:44

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