I'd like to set allowed property values at the top of an org-mode cheatsheet i'm working on. Only two allowed values so far for the CATEGORY property. I'm getting the same "Allowed values for this property have not been defined" issue experienced in the issue linked below.

* Org-mode essentials
** M-RET        - New bullet at the current level

I have followed org-mode Property documentation as recommended by the most similar question. I am running emacs 26.3 with org 9.1.9 on Linux Mint 20. I've tried reloading settings for the current file (C-c C-c) and restarting Emacs to no avail.

Is the issue in the syntax of the top line?

1 Answer 1


The allowed values for a property are specified by defining a specially named property: e.g. for specifying the values for a CAT property, you specify the allowed values as the value of the property CAT_all:

#+PROPERTY: CAT_all Meta Create

Don't forget to C-c C-c on the property line, to refresh the buffer and inform Org mode about this new property.

Then you can use C-c C-x p, specify CAT as the name of the property and use TAB completion to select a value.

See the "Property syntax" section of the manual, which you can visit in Emacs with C-h i g (org)Property syntax.

Note: I used CAT for the name of your property because Org mode already has a special property called CATEGORY: C-h i g (org)Special properties will get you to the section that defines all of them. That section says:

The following property names are special and should not be used as keys in the properties drawer.

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