To manage my config I use org-mode. To manage packages inside this I use use-package. Problem is that there are packages that require a lot of configuration like ibuffer and org-mode. Now I'm looking for a way to fold code inside an org-mode elisp source code block. The blocks should be folded based on headlines.

Below is a a workaround solution to archieve that goal above indirectly. The problem with that is that it creates even more source code blocks which is ugly overhead. I tried to use orgstruct++ (which is the more or less exactly the solution I need) inside the elisp block but that does not seem to work either. I get an error, and I presume that orgstruct++ was not intended for use on org-files. Is my goal impossible to achieve?

What I tried inside the elisp source code block

    ;;; -*- orgstruct-heading-prefix-regexp: ";;" -*-
;; Does this and that
;; Does that and this

Workaround example:

*** TLDR - Too Long Didn't Read cheat.sh offline Repository run tldr-update-docs before first run, wait for the download/decompression
**** Use-Package Opening
#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp  
 (use-package tldr
**** Misc Configuration
#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
(tldr tldr-mode tldr-update-docs my-tldr-only-linux my-tldr-only-osx my-tldr-only-common+linux)
(setq tldr-enabled-categories '("common" "linux" "osx"))
**** Custom Functions
***** Filter TLDR
#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
    (defun my-tldr-only-osx ()
    (let ((tldr-enabled-categories '("osx")))
      (tldr)))   (defun my-tldr-only-linux ()
    (let ((tldr-enabled-categories '("linux")))
      (tldr)))   (defun my-tldr-only-common+linux ()
    (let ((tldr-enabled-categories '("common" "linux")))
**** Use-Package Closing
#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
  • To clarify the question, could you explain why you need the Elisp to be within an Org-mode structure?
    – Stefan
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 0:56
  • To harness all the features of org mode for my init file. Org-Mode configs are not that rare. Many people use it. Nice export features, easy to restructure large config parts and great visibility to name just a few. Org-babel reads all the elisp chunks in configuration.org and creates configuration.el. Disadvantage is slower startup but everything comes with a price.
    – Jens Lange
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


Long before org-mode existed, Emacs had outline-minor-mode which can be used in Elisp buffers, where the convention is to use ;;; to separate major sections, ;;;; for subsection, ;;;;; for subsubsections, .... you get the idea.

;;; .emacs --- My Emacs config file -*- mode: emacs-lisp; mode: outline-minor -*-
;;; Org settings
(bla org bla)
;;; IBuffer settings
(bla ibuffer bla)
;;;; Subfeature settings
(bla ibuffer subfeature bla)

I personally use outline-minor-mode in all Elisp files (so I don't need to -*- ...-*- at the top) and I use a hook to fold everything when visiting such a file, and then use reveal-mode to unfold-as-I-navigate:

(defun sm-outline-minor-mode-hook ()
  (when outline-minor-mode
    (hide-sublevels (if (eq outline-level 'lisp-outline-level) 1000 1))))
(add-hook 'outline-minor-mode-hook 'sm-outline-minor-mode-hook)
  • Well, I would like to stay at org-mode. Your solution implies to "translate" the configuration file to the outline-minor-mode scheme, doesn't it? Or is there a way to use the solution above inside an org-mode elisp code block? I tried but how do I collapse a ;;; subsection? Maybe all puzzle pieces are there but currently I can't make a picture of it. Could outshine possibly help? But it seems to be geared for use in non-org files.
    – Jens Lange
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 17:07

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