3

Sometimes, I'd like to have a way to indicate that an org tree has an "end" and then be able to return to the top level. I.e. I'd like the document to look like this:

* headline

  some text here

  more text

  END-OUTLINE

Text here is at the top-level and is not indented.

* another headline

  text

  END-OUTLINE

More top-level text.

Is there a good way to do this?

3

Use plain list syntax instead of headlines syntax

  • By definition the body of headlines will always include content after the headline up to the next headline. Once content is placed under a headline there is not a way to designate that the content should be part of the top level again.

    This paragraph will always be outside of headline.
    
    * Headline A
    This paragraph will always be under Headline A.
    
    ** Headline B
    This paragraph will always be under Headline B.
    
    * Headline C
    This paragraph will always be under Headline C.
    
    
    This paragraph will always be under Headline C too.
    
  • In contrast, the content of plain lists is determined by the indentation level or if there are 2 blank/empty lines in the list.

    This paragraph will always be outside of Lists.
    
    - List Item A
    
      This paragraph will always be under List Item A.
    
      - List Item B
    
        This paragraph will always be under List Item A and List Item B.
    
      This paragraph will always be under List Item A.
    
    
    1. List Item C
    
       This paragraph will always be under List Item C.
    
    2. List Item D
    
       This paragraph will always be under List Item D.
    
    This paragraph will always be outside of Lists.
    

TIP: There are builtin functions to switch between plain lists and headlines. These conversion functions provide a convenient method to switch back and forth while typing.

  • To convert headline to plain list, Place cursor on headline and type C-c -.
  • To convert plain list to headline, place cursor on list item and type C- c *.

Note: This answer was tested using:


emacs version: GNU Emacs 25.2.1
org-mode version: 9.1.2

  • Hmm... Interesting approach! I'll see if I can get used to that. :-) – dharmatech Jul 30 at 18:02
  • 1
    @dharmatech - Thanks! There are builtin functions to switch between plain lists and headlines. Place cursor on headline and type C-c - to convert headline to plain list. To convert plain list to headline place cursor on list item and type C- *. These conversion functions make it easy to switch back and forth as you type. – Melioratus Jul 30 at 18:12

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