I use emacs with org- and helm-mode in windows, and I store my agenda files in my /journal/ directory:
(setq org-agenda-files '("C:/Users/.../journal/")).

My agenda files mainly contain notes, structured under one or more headlines within each file, and with one or more tag added to each headline. A headline can thus look like this:
* My note for thursday :family:car:expences: where the single tags are within a pair of colons.

If I use the command M-x org-tags-view I get a list for all tags used in all the .org files in my /journal/ directory. This global tags list would have been great to have access to when I am tagging headlines inside a single .org file.

However, when I use the command M-x org-set-tags, when my point is within a headline, the resulting helms output is a local tags list, i.e. a list of tags collected only from within the single file I am about to tag, and containing no tags from any of the other .org files in the /journal/ directory.

I have two questions:

(1) How can I make helms give me access to the global tags list when I am tagging headlines within a single file inside my /journal/ directory?

(2) How can I easily update the global tags list if I add tags to a file that is not from within this list?


1 Answer 1



(setq org-complete-tags-always-offer-all-agenda-tags t)

I don't think you can easily add to this list from non-agenda files.

  • Thanks, that worked, though not exactly as I wanted :) When pressing the tab I get a list in helm with tag-words collected from my agenda files. But I cannot select several of these tags by pressing the space bar down the list. Do you know if that is possible with some setting?
    – myotis
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 19:13
  • it looks like helm does not allow marking in that source. You would probably need to write your own source to make it possible. Also, your action function then has to work on (helm-marked-candidates). Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 1:44

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