Trying to set preferred columns in ORG column mode. this works perfectly if I put it on head of the file:


But I avoid to repeat it for every org file and tried to put it on init file, to no avail:

(setq org-agenda-overriding-columns-format "%45ITEM %TAGS %PRIORITY %TODO %CLOSED %SCHEDULED")
  • 1
    The doc says: "Don’t set this, this is meant for dynamic scoping."
    – NickD
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


The variable to set seems to be org-columns-default-format. The doc string says:

org-columns-default-format is a variable defined in ‘org.el’. Its value is "%25ITEM %TODO %3PRIORITY %TAGS"

Documentation: The default column format, if no other format has been defined. This variable can be set on the per-file basis by inserting a line

#+COLUMNS: %25ITEM .....

You can customize this variable.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.