I keep some files in RST and rst-mode has C-c C-t C-t runs the command rst-toc which open all section titles in separate buffer. I can search ignoring actual document content which tends to have massive amount of searched term (so occur or isearch is a wasting of time).

Other files I keep in .org files.

Can I search / isearch only by section titles?

I'd like to keep using .org mode as I set convenient archiving of old info.

  • If you are using swiper, ivy, counsel etc. then you might want to try counsel-org-goto which provides completion for org headings.
    – andrej
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 13:32
  • No, I don't use any of those. ido is my choice. And I am interested in searching/moving to section instead of completion.
    – gavenkoa
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 14:52
  • I would say that the command does what you want, i.e. searching and moving and a toc is presented in the minibuffer. Anyway there is also the built in org-goto. This question and answers might be of some help emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/32617/…
    – andrej
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


I found the answer here:

If you place an asterisk at the beginning of your search, Org-mode will search only headlines (and not entry text).

This is in the agenda view. So if you are interested only in the current file, in the agenda menu, press < to restrict to the current buffer, and then select s for search. Then type in the term, but prepend it with *.

You can do more advanced queries (e.g. search for all headings with foo, but not with bar:

*+foo -bar

Now I wonder if there's a way to do it with C-c / instead of going through the agenda view...

  • embarrassed to say how long I've been looking for this. Since before emacs.stackexchange existed.Thank you.
    – Levin
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 22:41

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