GNU-devel ELPA - org-modern

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Modern looks for Org
org-modern- (.sig), 2024-May-15, 70.0 KiB
Daniel Mendler <>
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To install this package from Emacs, use package-install or list-packages.

Full description


1. Introduction

This package implements a modern style for your Org buffers using font locking and text properties. The package styles headlines, keywords, tables and source blocks. The styling is configurable, you can enable, disable or modify the style of each syntax element individually via the org-modern customization group.


The screenshots shows with org-modern-mode turned on and off. The elegant theme featured in the screenshot is modus-operandi.

Since this package adjusts text styling, it depends on your font settings. You should ensure that your variable-pitch and fixed-pitch fonts combine harmonically and have approximately the same height. As default font, I recommend variants of the Iosevka font, e.g., Iosevka Term Curly. org-modern-mode tries to adjust the tag label display based on the value of line-spacing. This looks best if line-spacing has a value between 0.1 and 0.4 in the Org buffer.

2. Configuration

The package is available on GNU ELPA and MELPA. You can install the package with package-install. Then org-modern can be enabled manually in an Org buffer by invoking M-x org-modern-mode. In order to enable org-modern for all your Org buffers, add org-modern-mode to the Org mode hooks.

;; Option 1: Per buffer
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook #'org-modern-mode)
(add-hook 'org-agenda-finalize-hook #'org-modern-agenda)

;; Option 2: Globally
(with-eval-after-load 'org (global-org-modern-mode))

Try the following more extensive setup in emacs -Q to reproduce the looks of the screenshot above.

;; Minimal UI
(menu-bar-mode -1)
(tool-bar-mode -1)
(scroll-bar-mode -1)

;; Choose some fonts
;; (set-face-attribute 'default nil :family "Iosevka")
;; (set-face-attribute 'variable-pitch nil :family "Iosevka Aile")
;; (set-face-attribute 'org-modern-symbol nil :family "Iosevka")

;; Add frame borders and window dividers
 '((right-divider-width . 40)
   (internal-border-width . 40)))
(dolist (face '(window-divider
  (face-spec-reset-face face)
  (set-face-foreground face (face-attribute 'default :background)))
(set-face-background 'fringe (face-attribute 'default :background))

 ;; Edit settings
 org-auto-align-tags nil
 org-tags-column 0
 org-catch-invisible-edits 'show-and-error
 org-special-ctrl-a/e t
 org-insert-heading-respect-content t

 ;; Org styling, hide markup etc.
 org-hide-emphasis-markers t
 org-pretty-entities t

 ;; Agenda styling
 org-agenda-tags-column 0
 org-agenda-block-separator ?─
 '((daily today require-timed)
   (800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000)
   " ┄┄┄┄┄ " "┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄┄")
 "◀── now ─────────────────────────────────────────────────")

;; Ellipsis styling
(setq org-ellipsis "…")
(set-face-attribute 'org-ellipsis nil :inherit 'default :box nil)


3. Alternatives

The tag style of org-modern is inspired by Nicholas Rougier's beautiful svg-tag-mode. In contrast to svg-tag-mode, this package avoids images and uses cheap and fast Emacs box text properties. By only styling the text via text properties, the styled text, e.g., dates or tags stay editable and are easy to interact with.

The approach restricts our flexibility and may lead to font-dependent issues. We do our best, but for example there is no way we can get round corners. Combining org-modern-mode with svg-tag-mode is possible. You can use SVG tags and use the table and block styling from org-modern. If you are interested in further tweaks, Emacs comes with the builtin prettify-symbols-mode which can be used for individual styling of custom keywords.

Popular alternatives are the older org-superstar and org-bullets packages, which have are more limited and mainly adjust headlines and lists. org-superstar relies on character composition, while org-modern uses text properties, which are considered more future-proof. Note that org-modern is a full replacement for both org-superstar and org-bullets. You can easily disable styling of certain elements, e.g., org-modern-timestamp, if you only want to use a subset of org-modern.

4. Contributions

Since this package is part of GNU ELPA contributions require a copyright assignment to the FSF.

Old versions

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1. Development

  • Add support for heading folding indicators. The option org-modern-star has been changed to accept the values fold, replace and nil.
  • Add new customization options org-modern-replace-stars and org-modern-fold-stars.
  • Add org-modern-tag-faces.
  • Add colored coded progress bars. The variable org-modern-progress specifies the width of the bars.

2. Version 1.2 (2024-03-16)

  • org-modern-star, org-modern-hide-stars, org-modern-progress: Support string values.

3. Version 1.1 (2023-12-01)

  • Bugfix: Do not use zero line width for box face attribute. Zero line widths are disallowed in Emacs 30.

4. Version 1.0 (2023-12-01)

  • Bugfix: Remove line/wrap-prefix if fringe is enabled

5. Version 0.10 (2023-07-02)

  • Bugfixes.
  • Fix star prettification if org-indent-mode is enabled.
  • Prettify filetags.

6. Version 0.9 (2023-03-12)

  • Improve prettification of stars, such that line movement commands are not affected negatively.
  • Use natnum custom types.
  • Depend on the Compat library.

7. Version 0.8 (2023-02-15)

  • Start of changelog.