Q: how do I change org-mode's definition of a commented line?

According to the manual, org-mode comments work as follows:

Lines starting with zero or more whitespace characters followed by one '#' and a whitespace are treated as comments and will never be exported. Also entire subtrees starting with the word ‘COMMENT’ will never be exported. Finally, regions surrounded by '#+BEGIN_COMMENT' ... '#+END_COMMENT' will not be exported.

I'd like to adjust the single-# notation to allow multiple #s so that Emacs will correctly fontify such lines as comments:

comment lines

I'm doing this because I have timestamp blocks at the top of the file that start with multiple comment characters:

comment block

However, I can't figure out which variables I need to adjust. I've tried modifying comment-start, comment-start-skip, and even comment-padding, but with no luck (org-comment-string appears not to be relevant here).

So: how can I get org-mode to treat lines starting with multiple #s as comments?

  • 3
    Curious! Poking around in the source it looks like the "# " comment definition is hard-coded in a number of places, which may make it difficult to modify.
    – Tyler
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


The following is a partial answer that addresses the cosmetic issue (get the font-locking visuals correct), but it does not actually modify what org-mode considers to be a comment (e.g., for exporting purposes).

Add a font lock keyword:

(font-lock-add-keywords 'org-mode '(("^\\s-*#+\\s-?.*" . 'font-lock-comment-face)))

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