I use markdown-mode (in conjunction with writeroom-mode) for writing in Emacs. My markdown files generally gets quite large, and I would like to be able to focus on a particular section for extended periods of time.

How can I achieve this? Specifically I'm looking to hide or collapse other sections (heading and their text) while working on the current one. http://www.foldingtext.com behaves in this manner.


2 Answers 2


With markdown-mode by Jason Blevins you can toggle folding of the heading with Tab (same as in org-mode).

  • 7
    True (+1). However, with emacs -nw, it turns out that you want to use Shift + Tab to get things to fold. (Which I only mention because I only found out by accident that this works....)
    – jon
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 16:40
  • 2
    Also, C-x n d will narrow to the current section*, and -- importantly -- C-x n w undoes this by running widen. *** via narrow-to-defun, which is markdown-mode is mapped to markdown-narrow-to-section. You can type C-x n s to run markdown-narrow-to-section, which is directly what you want, but since C-x n d does what you want and is useful in other modes, I prefer to use that for better muscle-memory-applicability.
    – mtd
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 17:39

I've found two ways that can be useful:

  1. enable hideshow mode (hs-minor-mode) and use the provided functions
  2. Apparently markdown-mode inherits from outline mode (or at least the functions are available here!) so you can use functions like hide-subtree and show-subtree.

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