I was trying to use the capture as is explained in org-manual p. 85. This is the relevant part of my .emacs file.

  (setq org-default-notes-file (concat org-directory "~/Notities/org-mode/Capture.org"))
    (define-key global-map "\C-cc" 'org-capture)

But I get this error.

Symbol's value as variable is void: org-directory

I tried the following solution, but it didn't work. The filepath is directed to an existing file. Why do I still get this error?

1 Answer 1


Make sure you have the line (require 'org) before you set the location. This will ensure that the package org where org-directory is defined is loaded before it is used.

Also, if you are adding concating a path to org-directory, I think that the path you provide should be relative to org-directory, not an absolute path. In your case you might want to set:

(setq org-default-notes-file "~/Notities/org-mode/Capture.org")

instead. By default, I think org-directory is set to ~/org, but if you don't want this as your default directory, you can change this as well. For example, in your case:

(setq org-directory "~/Notities/org-mode")

Combining these things, it should work to add:

(require 'org)
(setq org-directory "~/Notities/org-mode")
(setq org-default-notes-file (concat org-directory "/Capture.org"))
(define-key global-map "\C-cc" 'org-capture)

to your .emacs file.

  • How do I know where org-directory is?
    – user72805
    Jan 9, 2016 at 14:34
  • 1
    @user72805 Try C-h v org-directory and it should show you what it is set to.
    – elethan
    Jan 9, 2016 at 14:35

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