Getting started with Org mode

Table of Contents

What is Org mode?

Org mode (aka: Org-mode) is an editing and organizing mode for

  • note keeping,
  • project planning,
  • TODO lists and
  • authoring,

in the free software text editor Emacs.

Org mode does outlining, note-taking, hyperlinks, spreadsheets, TODO lists, project planning, GTD, HTML and LaTeX authoring, all with plain text files in Emacs.
– Carsten Dominik (author of Org mode)


Figure 1: Org mode logo


Figure 2: Unicorn in Avenida Xicotencatl, Veracruz, Veracruz (MX)

Why Org mode?

  • Write better documents — Org mode is designed for allowing you to easily, effortlessly write articles (and even presentations) about anything. It allows you to write a web page like this one as easily as it is to write an email ("content is king").
  • Be more productive — "Think before acting": write goals and think how to achieve them. Retain knowledge: make awesome documents which mix analysis, private notes, tasks to do; only export to PDF or HTML what you want to make public.
  • Stop the interruptions — Capture ideas and notes on-the-fly, and then return focusing on your important tasks. Find notes in no time.

Start up now: Org mode is totally free (open source and gratis)…

Org mode for beginners

Introduction to exporting to HTML

Org mode as a CMS

Org mode makes publishing a website simple and affordable.

See Org mode in action

This website uses Org mode. We will show you how easy to use and intuitive Org mode is.

Getting help

Org mode for intermediates

Using Emacs color themes

There are a number of Emacs color themes designed specifically to take advantage of Org mode. If you like light backgrounds, the one I recommend (because I know it best) is mine: Leuven.

Note that leuven-theme is bundled with Emacs 24.4 through the new mechanism of the "custom themes".

Using CSS styles

You can build your own HTML page layout with CSS.

Org mode for advanced users

Installing Org mode

The latest version of Org mode can be obtained from a Git repository via:

git clone git://orgmode.org/org-mode.git
cd org-mode
make autoloads

You can get it as well via:

wget http://orgmode.org/org-latest.tar.gz

Then, in your Emacs init file, add:

(add-to-list 'load-path "<path-to-repo>/lisp/") ; <- adjust!

Comprehensive list of customizations

Here is the complete list of…

Increasing Emacs' default search functionality

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