text-properties-at returns a list of various text properties.

I want to remove: display (image :type xpm :file /Users/HOME/.0.data/.0.emacs/.0.images/ezimage/box-plus.xpm :scale 1.1070588235294117 :ascent center). The image may change, so I'd like a general approach that targets the display property and any value that may exist in relation thereto.

I thought I was dealing with a plist and I read about remprop, but it strips everything in the entire list -- i.e., it makes the whole list nil.

    (let ((props (text-properties-at 0 OBJECT)))
      (setq props (remprop 'props 'display)))
  • 1
    remprop deals with a symbol's property list - a concept very rarely used in Emacs Lisp (plausible uses for it are debugging of ELisp code, saving extra information with special variables).
    – wvxvw
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 10:34
  • As for the implementation of such function, you would have to specify whether you want it to be in-place, or to return a copy, what to do with multiple entries of the same property-value pair and whether it's OK to use (setf (car ...) ...) or similar.
    – wvxvw
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 10:40
  • 1
    Does (remove-text-properties START END '(display nil) OBJECT) work for you? though I am not sure about what you want.
    – xuchunyang
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 10:56
  • What @xuchunyang said. It's not clear just what you want to do. Use remove-text-properties to remove any given properties altogether. If you want to modify one or more properties, see set-text-properties.
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 14:48
  • Thank you @wvxvw @xuchunyang @Drew @pingi for looking at this particular thread/issue. I ended up using org-plist-delete to remove the pair of PROPERTY / VALUE from the PLIST. The inspiration for this project was to fix a bug in org-agenda-highlight-todo which takes text properties found at the beginning of a string and creates a new " " space between the org-mode todo-keyword and the priority. I am using icons set with org-agenda-category-icon-alist and my particular org-agenda-prefix-format leaves the icon right where org-agenda-highlight-todo can find it -- i.e., FIXME :)
    – lawlist
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


cl-remprop deletes a property that is associated with the symbol props itself. This property list is nil already. (And remprop only returns true if something was found+deleted, and nil otherwise.)

In your case, the property list you want to change is the value the symbol happens to be bound to.

The function you search is likely remove-text-properties:


  • I upvoted because this answer teaches me about cl-remprop and explains why it was not working as I had erroneously expected. I ended up using org-plist-delete to modify the list of properties because my use-case was to fix a bug that comes about when org-agenda-highlight-todo copies text properties from the beginning of a string and creates a new space " " elsewhere that has the copied text properties applied to it.
    – lawlist
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 19:24
  • If you found the correct solution to your problem there nothing against posting an answer to your own question. emacs.stackexchange.com/help/self-answer Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 8:27
  • 1
    I posted an answer 14 hours ago, but there is something like a 36 or 48 hour waiting period before an original poster can accept his/her own answer.
    – lawlist
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 8:42

org-mode contains a handy function called org-plist-delete inside org-macs.el

(let ((props (text-properties-at 0 OBJECT)))
  (setq props (org-plist-delete props 'display)))

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