In Org mode, when attempting to edit an elisp source block such as the following:

#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
  (setq trees '(pine fir oak maple)
        herbivores '(gazelle antelope zebra))

Using the key-chord C-c ' loads the source block in a new window. Though org-src-mode is not loaded in the new buffer. So I get the message C-c ' is undefined when attempting to close the buffer and move back to Org mode. I am able to manually load org-src-mode, which works, though it would be nice for it to be loaded automatically.

I am using emacs 25.1 with no special emacs-lisp-mode or org-mode configuration.

Plus to ensure the issue was not caused by some other part of my configuration, I load the file in emacs without my init file emacs -Q and still had the issue.

With (setq debug-on-error t) the following error is shown in the debugger:

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (wrong-type-argument listp t)
  delete((org-filtered) t)
  remove((org-filtered) t)
  funcall-interactively(org-edit-special nil)
  call-interactively(org-edit-special nil nil)

Any suggestions on how to resolve the issue?

  • This is also being logged to the *Messages* buffer: remove: Wrong type argument: listp, t
    – lookyhooky
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 14:40
  • 1
    If you evaluate (setq debug-on-error t) you will receive a bigger debugging message (in a separate buffer/window) that will be more helpful.
    – lawlist
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 15:07
  • @lawlist I added the debugger information to the question.
    – lookyhooky
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


After trying to figure this problem out myself, I sent an email to the mailing list. The only response was to "update your org-mode version," which I didn't think could be right because I was compliling Emacs from the latest git sources, (GNU Emacs and since org-mode is included with those sources, I would have thought THAT org mode should work.

However, I did remove the org-mode that was installed by default, and installed the latest tarball from stable branch, which, at 8.3.5 is at least one minor version number ahead of what came with Emacs sources (8.2.something). And upgrading did do the trick.

I'm sorry there isn't a better solution: you either have to keep your org current yourself, or you have to wail until Emacs starts shipping with the 8.3 branch. Of course, at that point, Org-stable will be at 8.5, which is the development branch now, so who knows what problems being two version numbers behind will cause.

  • 1
    I installed the latest version 8.3.6 from orgmode.org and org-src-mode is loading in source editing buffers. Thank you for your help.
    – lookyhooky
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 20:40

Using package-list-packages and installing the "org" package from elpa (currently 8.3.6) also resolves this problem in current Emacs.

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