I have an org file at ~/foo.org it looks like this (see bottom of this question)

I reboot my pc every day, and the first thing I do is open this file. Then I do the mundane task of pressing tab to expand the ** About me headline.

Is it possible to save this visibility setting? or is it possible to tell emacs to "unfold" this particular heading upon file opening

What I tried: I googled around, there's a guy who hints at this being possible, but he's very terse and it lacks a concrete example.

* Workshop

** Greetings, Introduction, Organization

- breaks
- drinking
  - vending machines for pops and coffee

** About me

- Flipchart
- 2009-2012: PIM researcher ([[http://tagstore.org]])
  - organizing files and folders
  - an alternative to strict hierarchies of folders
  - tagging

2 Answers 2


Allright, go to the node you want to be visible on startup, press C-c C-x p then provide VISIBILITY and children

and on the next invocation it will look like something like this: (in this case I tell emacs to keep the children of ** Greetings visible)

enter image description here

I still think it's ugly to have my "mind map" cluttered with metadata lines like :PROPERTIES:

but it seems folks are hesitant to tackle that [ https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17478260/completely-hide-the-properties-drawer-in-org-mode [ http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/28297

  • Yes it does look cluttered - so far the only way to deal with it I guess is to set the org-special-keyword face to be just visible above the background color. Nov 2, 2017 at 10:33

I've done something like this to try to minimize the appearance of the :PROPERTIES: line - my default face background is a dark gray "#171717" -

(set-face-attribute 'org-special-keyword nil :foreground "#333")
(set-face-attribute 'org-ellipsis nil :foreground "#555")
(setq org-ellipsis 'org-ellipsis)

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