Emacs: Org Mode Markup Cheatsheet

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Emacs org-mode is a markup language, similar to Markdown, but with far more features. This page lists the most frequently used markup.


* first level heading begin with a asterisk

This is a paragraph. With no markup. Belongs under the heading above it.

** second level heading begin with 2 asterisks

*** third level heading

(Copy the above, paste into a file. Name the file “test.org”. Then open it in emacs. Or, Alt+x org-mode.)

Inline Code

* Inline Code

inline code are marked between TILDE ~3 + 4~

or with EQUALS SIGN: =3 + 4=

Code Block

* Code Block

Example markup

var x = 3
x + 4

Press 【< e Tab】to insert the markup for example.

* Code Block

Source Code markup of specific language

#+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
(+ 3 4)

#+BEGIN_SRC python
x = 3
return x + 2

To insert markup for source code, press 【< s Tab】, type first char of your language name, then press 【Ctrl+Alt+i】. Press that again to switch to next lang.

For how to eval source code, see: Emacs: Org Mode, Programing Language Code Markup

Bold, Italic, …

* Italic, Bold, …








Unordered list

- 1st item
- another item
- and 3rd item


+ 1st item
+ another item
+ and 3rd item

Ordered List

Start with a number, followed by a period. Like this:

1. 1st item
2. another item
3. and 3rd item


Here's the link format







In emacs, Alt+x org-export-dispatchCtrl+c Ctrl+e】 to export. To export to HTML, the key is 【Ctrl+c Ctrl+e h h

Org Commands

Emacs Org mode has many commands, including:

For a basic tutorial, see: Emacs: Writing Outline, org-mode Tutorial

org mode Topic

  1. Org Mode Markup Cheatsheet
  2. Writing Outline, org-mode Tutorial
  3. Org Mode, Programing Language Code Markup
  4. Using Org Mode for Todo
  5. Org Mode Customization
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