When working on the structure of a document, often I find myself wanting to turn a list of items into a set of headings, or a set of headings into a list. I haven't found a way to do this easily other than by hand-editing or recording a macro.

How do you do it? Is there a function to do this kind of operations, e.g. demote a heading to a list item?

1 Answer 1


In org-mode, it is easy enough to turn a heading into an item. There is a command called org-toggle-item which can do that, and it is bound with C-c -.

Also, you can also use org-toggle-heading to turn an item to a heading, which is bound with C-c *.

  • 2
    This happened to me by chance several times, but I never could figure out what key did I press to achieve this effect! :)
    – wvxvw
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 20:21
  • 2
    Just as a sidenote: "C-c *" is bound to org-ctrl-c-star at least today. But this function decides by context what to do. It either calls org-table-recalculate or org-toggle-heading.
    – Matthias
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 9:18
  • 3
    The tricky thing is that both headings and list items can start with *. So supposedly, if there are no leading spaces before *, it is a heading. But then people seem to make it not display all the asterisks for headings, and the distinction probably gets even more blurry.
    – x-yuri
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 10:07

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