enter image description here

Please see in the image how I expect to put down the information in an org file. Sub-heading 1 has some list items which are collapsed, after which I would like to continue the list at the previous level.

I see how this can be hard to parse as I want it, since the underlying file is just plain text and org-indent-mode is trying to lay it out, but is there a way to capture lists as shown in the image? Can I earmark a particular list item to belong to a higher level heading?

After the state shown in the picture, if I expand and collapse sub-heading 1, 'Third thing' will become a list item under it.

  • 2
    Content after a subheading is not supported by org-mode syntax. There is no way to indicate a subheading has ended, and it is also very unintuitive to read. Use nested lists if necessary.
    – Juancho
    Feb 21, 2020 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


The feature that you’re looking for is only available for ordered lists.

Ordered list items start with a numeral followed by either a period or a right parenthesis10, such as ‘1.’ or ‘1)’11 If you want a list to start with a different value—e.g., 20—start the text of the item with ‘[@20]’12. Those constructs can be used in any item of the list in order to enforce a particular numbering. ~ org-mode manual - plain lists.

For example,

* Heading 1 @ level 0
  1. list item 1 @ level 1
  2. list item 2 @ level 1
** Sub-heading 1 @ level 1
  3. [@3] list item 3 @ level 1

However, if you do not want to use an ordered list then my recommendation is to convert each headline into a plain list instead.

For example,

- *Heading 1* @ level 0
  + list item 1 @ level 1
  + list item 2 @ level 1
    - *Sub-heading 1* @ level 2
  + list item 3 @ level 1

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