I'm trying to setup time estimation in TODO lists via column mode as describled in http://orgmode.org/manual/Effort-estimates.html#Effort-estimates.
The thing that bothers me is that I have to enable column-view each time to see the columns via org-columns and org-agenda-columns. I would like to add a tag to the head TODO entry and enable the column view for entries with that tag when the file is loaded automatically. I wonder weather there is some command for that already or something that is related?

1 Answer 1


To automatically activate column-view in an agenda view, you should try creating a custom view M-x customize-variable RET org-agenda-custom-commands. I believe you can set up a view that evaluates an expression using the settings element of that configuration.

To default to column-view within an agenda file, you can create a file-local variable – M-x add-file-local-variable – that activates the column view:

# Local Variables:
# eval: (org-columns t)
# End:

This will activate the column view when you load (or reload via C-c r) the file.

Caveat: it only seems to honor #+COLUMN: properties at the file-level. I haven't discovered a way to support sub-tree column definitions. (the org-column function has different behavior based on where the point is, so I suppose you could manipulate the point before calling it).

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