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When I start typing several stars to create a new headline, like ***, emacs starts bolding some of them, making the first and the last invisible. This makes it hard to know what headline level I am at, because it bolds and unbolds them as I keep adding more *.

This did not use to happen before. Has anything changed?

How can I make *** at the beginning of a line just behave like a literal ***, but only for headlines?

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    I'm assuming you have org-do-emphasis-faces set to t. That's probably what changed for you. I see this too and I think it's a bug with org-do-emphasis-faces. Should be simple to fix it. – jagrg Feb 12 at 21:14
  • It's actually not a bug, and I think I agree with what Nicolas said: "It is something to be expected with a non-nil org-hide-emphasis-markers. "***" at the beginning of the line is really a bold asterisk, whereas "*** " is a headline." – jagrg Feb 13 at 13:22
  • @jagrg You're right. If you want, make that the answer and I'll accept it. – Ivan Perez Feb 13 at 22:16
  • Ha. I didn't realise you'd posted the second answer two. I consider the first one the explanation (which I opted for, in the end). – Ivan Perez Feb 16 at 0:46
  • I see. I updated the answer to reflect your preference. – jagrg Feb 16 at 10:27
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This issue was raised on the mailing list and the response was:

It is something to be expected with a non-nil `org-hide-emphasis-markers'. "***" at the beginning of the line is really a bold asterisk, whereas "*** " is a headline.

  • Thanks! The real answer was: "[Y]ou have org-do-emphasis-faces set to t." – Ivan Perez Feb 16 at 13:18

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