I've been experimenting with/learning org-mode's table features and spreadsheet-like formulae.

If I include a totals-type footer row in a table and precede it with a border (hline), then I can simply press enter when the cursor is in the last row of the main section to insert a new row, but it keeps the cursor in the same column. If I press the tab key from the last cell, it changes focus to the next non-hline cell. Neither actions are quite conducive to rapid data entry.

Is there a setting to enable the tab key to insert a new row in this case (like it does at the end of the table)?

1 Answer 1


Set or customize the variable org-table-tab-jumps-over-hlines to nil:

(setq org-table-tab-jumps-over-hlines nil)

The doc string of the variable says:

Non-nil means tab in the last column of a table with jump over a hline. If a horizontal separator line is following the current line, ‘org-table-next-field’ can either create a new row before that line, or jump over the line. When this option is nil, a new line will be created before this line.

The code is in the function org-table-next-field in org-table.el if you are interested.

  • Perfect, thanks. For future reference, did you know about this variable already, or did you search the documentation in some way I'm not familiar with? (Google-searching the online help doesn't turn up that variable, even when I know what to search for).
    – Digicrat
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:02
  • I did not know about it and I did not search the documentation: I went straight for the code :-) But it turns out that you can find out about it in a generally useful way: say M-x customize RET, enter org-table in the search box and see what is customizable. You have to look over some twenty-five variables before you find this one, but it is there.
    – NickD
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:12
  • Interesting -- I think I'll follow your lead and try going straight for the code next time. Though at least this way the next poor soul to have this question will be able to find it via Google ;-)
    – Digicrat
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:28
  • That is only if you know enough elisp to figure out what's going on; the customize method OTOH is available generally. I'm an old dog and cannot easily learn new tricks, so customize is not (yet) built-in to my brain/fingers - but I should try to go there before going to the code.
    – NickD
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:33
  • Noted. My thought is going to the code is bound to accelerate my elisp learning curve. I didn't think of customize as a help menu -- I've been searching the help pages (ie: C-h a or f) as well, but that mostly helps only when searching for functions.
    – Digicrat
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:58

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