I want to configure it so that bulleted lists in org mode are there own paragraphs - for example, in a org file, i have:

. foo bar baz
. baz bar bla

When I do fill-paragraph, this results in:

. foo bar baz . baz bar bla

I added a hook:

(add-hook 'org-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (setq paragraph-start (concat paragraph-start "\\|[ \t]*\\."))))

Which I was hoping would cause these to be recognized a different paragraphs. This does seem to be happening - the value of paragraph-start reflects it - but M-q still does not have the behaviour I expect. What could the problem be?

1 Answer 1


You are trying to use full stops . as bullets. Org mode recognises -, + as unordered list item characters at the beginning of the line. (Try pressing Shift and right arrow with cursor on a list item to see all possible 'bullets'.) These list items are recognised as paragraphs and M-q behaves as expected. When you export the org buffer, some exporters, like LaTeX and HTML, convert these characters to proper bullets characters.

If you really insist on using full stop characters for this, you should explore how org-mode defines lists.

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