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I just need a function that will say if a heading is collapsed or not.

Need it to ensure an open heading, because org-cycle, well, cycles and it appears there are no good alternatives (e.g. org-show-entry shows ellipsis instead of children).

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    Why not using org-show-subtree on the headline in question? – Tobias Sep 11 at 13:03
  • @Tobias org-show-subtree: Show everything after this heading at deeper levels. This would be OK, but I want the children collapsed. – user3496846 Sep 11 at 19:36
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I have not seen a particular function that does this. What I have seen org-mode and outline-mode code use is the expression: (outline-invisible-p (line-end-position)). To tell if a heading is collapsed you can evaluate this expression when on a heading (you can check if you're on a heading with org-at-heading-p). If it returns t, then the heading is collapsed; otherwise it is not collapsed.

I'll explain a little bit about how it works. outline-invisible-p takes a point in the buffer as an argument returns t if the character after the point is invisible or not. When a heading is collapsed the point right after the heading (ie. the one after the end position of the line) will be invisible. So calling outline-invisible-p with (line-end-position) is an indicator of whether a heading is collapsed.

You could easily write a function to check for this. (In fact I would recommend doing this as opposed to using the expression because it's clearer what is being checked).

(defun +org-heading-collapsed-p ()
  "Return t if an current heading is collapsed."
  (outline-invisible-p (line-end-position)))

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