Is there a function to search for a heading in all org-mode files in all known Projectile projects?

I see that I can search for a string, but can I restrict it to an org-mode heading?;)

  • I don't know if Projectile provides a way to list all its projects, but Org mode certainly does not provide a way to list all Org mode files - AFAIK the only exception is the set of Org mode files that contribute to the agenda, which is stored in org-agenda-files. So you will probably have to collect the set of files in other ways. Once you have that set, you can loop over them and e.g. do C-c / m ITEM={foo} on each one: this command creates a sparse tree with the matching headlines unfolded. It's probably OK as an interactive method, but it might be awkward as a bulk method.
    – NickD
    Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 17:37
  • I guess there are various "obvious" approaches. But, I am wondering if you might mean 'across all project files'. Otherwise, it would be interesting to know how you search for a string across all of your projects, and it would be great if you could add that info to your question. Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 10:45

1 Answer 1


One way to achieve it is by taking inspiration from the project-find-regexp function. Instead of using files from the project, or from a directory, we give it all org files from all projectile-known-projects:

(defun my-search-heading-across-projects ()
  (let ((files (seq-filter (lambda (b) (string-match "org$" b))
                           (mapcan (lambda (root)
                                     (mapcar (lambda (f)
                                               (concat root f))
                                             (projectile-project-files root)))
     (apply-partially #'project--find-regexp-in-files "^\\*+" files)

This function will list all headings. You can then search for the heading using isearch (or narrow down if you use some completion framework like ivy/helm i.c.w. helm-xref / ivy-xref), and subsequently jump to the 'selected' heading by pressing RET.

  • 1
    wow, now that's what I call finding things;). Superb. Thanks a bunch;) Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 21:30
  • This worked fine and I've been using it alot, but suddenly it doesn't work anymore;) It says: "(void-function xref-show-xrefs)". Not sure if I updated something. Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 10:02
  • Does it work after doing (require 'xref)? Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 11:41
  • Hmm, no, still the same Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 11:46
  • Ah, okay. It seems that the function is not available in the built-in xref.el for Emacs version < 29, so you should install xref from elpa to get the newer version (or update your Emacs to version >= 29). Commented Feb 16, 2023 at 12:00

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