I'm using evil with this sample org file:

* test0

* test4

* test6

When the cursor is on line "test6" and I press { (evil-backward-paragraph), Emacs places the cursor between lines "test2" and "test3". Then, when I press } (evil-forward-paragraph), the cursor goes to "test4". That's not how it works in Vim.

How do I make next/prev paragraph keys place the cursor on the first empty line below/above current cursor position, like in Vim?

  • And what if the cursor is already at an empty line? What behavior do you expect in this case?
    – Name
    Aug 26, 2015 at 15:00
  • The same which is first empty line above or below current line :)
    – Kossak
    Aug 26, 2015 at 15:04
  • The functions work as you expect when in text-mode, but not org-mode. That's probably because org-mode uses a different concept of what constitutes a paragraph break. See the variable paragraph-separate.
    – Dan
    Aug 26, 2015 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Add these to the org-mode hook:

(setq paragraph-start "\\|[     ]*$")
(setq paragraph-separate "[     ]*$")

(Note that these character classes, the contents of [], contain one space and one literal tab, which may not render correctly in your browser)

These are the paragraph boundaries definitions from text-mode. So:

(add-hook 'org-mode-hook (lambda ()
                           (setq paragraph-start "\\|[  ]*$"
                                 paragraph-separate "[  ]*$")))

Instead of a lambda, you could wrap it in a named function:

(defun my-org-hook ()
  (setq paragraph-start "\\|[    ]*$"
        paragraph-separate "[     ]*$"))
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook #'my-org-hook)
  • I don't know how to add it to "org-mode hook" (just adding these lines to .emacs doesn't work), but I solved this issue by moving to Spacemacs - it works much better there.
    – Kossak
    Sep 14, 2015 at 14:58
  • if you're using emacs you should get familiar with hooks Sep 14, 2015 at 18:02
  • @Kossak if you moved to Spacemacs, could you close your issue then?
    – ReneFroger
    Mar 12, 2016 at 18:54
  • @Kossak: if this answer resolves the problem, could you accept it so that we can close the post as answered?
    – Dan
    Mar 12, 2016 at 20:35
  • I just checked and using this org-mode hook doesn't make it work like in vim (in org-mode at least, in text files it does, without the hook).
    – Kossak
    Mar 18, 2016 at 9:49

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