I often cut and paste folded top-level headings (only the heading is displayed, not its subcontent and tree).

When I do a paste, the heading is pasted unfolded - ie all subcontent and the tree is shown. After the paste, the current cursor point is at the bottom of the subcontent.

If I have eg 200 lines of subcontent, then I have to scroll back up to the heading to fold it.

Is there a setting in org mode to paste a heading and subcontent but not expand/unfold the subcontent?

Thanks ahead of time for any help......

  • You can navigate by heading: C-c C-p will take you to the previous heading. If the paste involved just a single heading, that's all that's needed. If there are more, you will need to do C-c C-p a few times to get there, but it's generally fast. The answer provides a few more generally applicable methods that are worth remembering, particularly the first one.
    – NickD
    Nov 8, 2020 at 21:18
  • Thanks once again NickD for your input. This seems like a convenient way to do what I would like to do.
    – ironfish
    Nov 9, 2020 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


Using Emacs functionality, you could either: 1) call yank with an argument, C-u C-y, that will leave point at the beginning of the yanked text; 2) call yank and then pop the mark, C-y C-u C-SPC, that would bring point back to the beginning of the yanked text after yanking.

Using Org functionality, you could use its specialized commands for the purpose: org-cut-special (bound by default to C-c C-x C-w) and org-paste-special (bound by default to C-c C-x C-y). This should carry around the folded state of your subtrees. Note that org-paste-special may promote/demote the yanked subtree, according to context. If that's not wanted, regular org-yank (C-y) should also deliver it folded, if it was killed as a subtree (that is, with C-c C-x C-w) to start with.

  • Thank you gusbrs for your input. I am not familiar with the terminology such as yank and killed, and so I will have to learn that (which I am happy to do) to understand your response.
    – ironfish
    Nov 9, 2020 at 13:54
  • 1
    "Yank" in emacs means the same thing as "paste" does in GUI environments. The function yank is bound to C-y by default. C-u is the "universal prefix argument": it basically calls the next function with a special argument that the function can interpret as it wants. So 1) in the answer says: if you press C-y alone, you yank ("paste") the text and that leaves you with the cursor at the end of the yanked text. But if you do the yank with the prefix argument (C-u C-y) then you are left with the cursor at the beginning of the yanked text.
    – NickD
    Nov 9, 2020 at 14:38
  • 1
    Do C-h f yank RET to see the doc string of the function which describes this. See Killing and Moving Text in the Emacs manual for all the gory details.
    – NickD
    Nov 9, 2020 at 14:40
  • @NickD Thanks for clearing things for the OP. I presumed "emacs-lingo", and perhaps I shouldn't have.
    – gusbrs
    Nov 9, 2020 at 15:10
  • It's impossible to know, so we do the best that we can.
    – NickD
    Nov 9, 2020 at 18:13

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