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2.1 Headlines

Headlines define the structure of an outline tree. Org headlines start on the left margin1 with one or more stars followed by a space. For example:

* Top level headline
** Second level
*** Third level
some text
*** Third level
more text
* Another top level headline

The name defined in org-footnote-section is reserved. Do not use it as a title for your own headings.

Some people find the many stars too noisy and would prefer an outline that has whitespace followed by a single star as headline starters. This can be achieved using a Org Indent minor mode. See Clean View for more information.

Headlines are not numbered. However, you may want to dynamically number some, or all, of them. See Dynamic Headline Numbering.

An empty line after the end of a subtree is considered part of it and is hidden when the subtree is folded. However, if you leave at least two empty lines, one empty line remains visible after folding the subtree, in order to structure the collapsed view. See the variable org-cycle-separator-lines to modify this behavior.


  1. See the variables org-special-ctrl-a/e, org-special-ctrl-k, and org-ctrl-k-protect-subtree to configure special behavior of C-a, C-e, and C-k in headlines. Note also that clocking only works with headings indented less than 30 stars.