I'd like to have an org file with 3 checkboxes listed with letters, instead of bullets, but they should remain fully functional. Instead of:

  • [ ] Foo
  • [ ] Bar
  • [ ] Baz


A [ ] Foo

B [ ] Bar

C [ ] Baz

Is this possible?

  • I edited out the second part of the question (re: exporting) since it was really a second question. If you can't get the export to work as you want, please ask the question again as a separate post. – Dan May 12 '17 at 13:12

You are working with an org-mode plain list. Specifically, you want to use an ordered list rather than than the default unordered variety.

When on an item in your plain list, you can rotate through the bullet styles with Ctrl-- (that is, "control-minus"), which invokes org-ctrl-c-minus, which, in this context, invokes org-cycle-list-bullet.

Note that the latter takes an optional integer argument to jump directly to the bullet item you want. Here's the docstring for more information:

(org-cycle-list-bullet &optional WHICH)

Cycle through the different itemize/enumerate bullets. This cycle the entire list level through the sequence:

- -> + -> * -> 1. -> 1)

If WHICH is a valid string, use that as the new bullet. If WHICH is an integer, 0 means -, 1 means + etc. If WHICH is previous, cycle backwards.

Note that, if you want to use letters in addition to the bullets and numbers, you need to set org-list-allow-alphabetical to t, so stick (setq org-list-allow-alphabetical t) somewhere in your init file.

If you do set org-list-allow-alphabetical then that should be done prior to loading org.el or else you also need to execute org-element-update-syntax for that setting to be picked up (as described in the help for that setting).

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