Org-transclusion User Manual

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Org-transclusion User Manual

This manual is for Org-transclusion version 1.3.x.

Last updated: 05 April 2024.

Org-transclusion lets you insert a copy of text content via a file link or ID link within an Org file. It lets you have the same content present in different buffers at the same time without copy-and-pasting it. Edit the source of the content, and you can refresh the transcluded copies to the up-to-date state. Org-transclusion keeps your files clear of the transcluded copies, leaving only the links to the original content.

Copyright (C) 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual,” and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License.”

(a) The FSF’s Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual.”

1 Example Use Cases & Main Features

Here are some real use cases that users have shared with the author, including his own.

Book writing

You have a collection of notes. You can quickly transclude paragraphs and sections from your notes and put together a draft. As transclusions are links, it’s easy to re-organize them into different sequences to see which way works the best.

Academic writing

You have a collection of quotes and notes from your research and literature review. Transclude relevant elements of quotes and notes into different papers. You can keep your collection as the central repository of your research.

Technical writing

You write technical documents for software. Transclude relevant lines of code into the document. As the code is only transcluded, you can keep the document up-to-date as the code evolves.

Project status reports

You work on multiple projects at the same time and need to report to different project managers. Transclude relevant parts of your work notes and logs into respective project reports. You can keep a single collection of your work notes and logs.

Main Features:

2 Installation

This package is available on:

GNU ELPA should be already set up in your Emacs by default. If you wish to add GNU-devel ELPA, simply add its URL to package-archives like this:

(add-to-list 'package-archives
             '("gnu-devel" . "") :append)

Refresh the archive with M-x package-refresh-contents RET and you can do M-x package-install RET org-transclusion to install it. Alternatively, you can use package-list-packages.

After installation, you can start using Org-transclusion with no additional configuration. Below are some example keybindings that can be put into your Emacs configuration.

(define-key global-map (kbd "<f12>") #'org-transclusion-add)
(define-key global-map (kbd "C-n t") #'org-transclusion-mode)

For Doom users, you would need to do something like this below to install the package and configure the keybindings.

;; ~/.doom.d/package.el
(package! org-transclusion)
;; ~/.doom.d/config.el
(use-package! org-transclusion
              :after org
               :map global-map "<f12>" #'org-transclusion-add
               :prefix "n"
               :desc "Org Transclusion Mode" "t" #'org-transclusion-mode))

3 Getting Started

The basic idea of Org-transclusion is simple: insert a copy of text content via a file link or ID link within an Org file. This is an Org Mode version of transclusion.

To transclude content via a link, use one of the following commands:

For example, if you have an ID link in your Org file like this:

[[id:20210501T171427.051019][Bertrand Russell]]

Simply type to add ‘#+transclude:’ in front of the link like the example below.

#+transclude: [[id:20210501T171427.051019][Bertrand Russell]]

Put your cursor somewhere on this keyword line and type M-x org-transclusion-add RET, and you will see the text content that the ID points to replace the whole line. If you have multiple links with a transclude keyword, you can type M-x org-transclusion-add-all RET to add all transclusions in the current buffer.

Alternatively, you can also put cursor somewhere on the link and type M-x org-transclusion-make-from-link RET. That will insert another line with #+transclusion: keyword added in front of a copy of the original link in the next empty line.

The transcluded paragraphs will be visually marked with a vertical line “| ” in the fringe (on graphical display) or in the beginning of line (on a text-only terminal) by default. The source (original) of the transcluded paragraphs will be also visually marked with an overlay. The appearance of these visual elements can be customized (refer to section Faces & fringe bitmap).

The transcluded text is read-only but you can copy it and export it as normal text. Org-transclusion remembers where it has transcluded the text from (its source buffer).

You can call a number of useful commands with a single letter (by default). For example, you can press ‘o’ to open the source buffer of the transclusion at point, or ‘O’ (capital “o”) to open and move to it. Press ‘g’ to refresh the transclusion. Press ‘e’ to start live-sync edit. For more detail, inspect the documentation of each command. Press ‘d’ to remove the transcluded content, putting the original ‘#+transclude: [[id:id-of-the-content]]’.

This single-letter-context-menu is defined in org-transclusion-map. The default keybindings are shown below. Adapt them to your liking, especially if you use Vim keybindings with Evil Mode, etc.

key             binding
---             -------

C-c             Prefix Command
TAB             org-cycle
D               org-transclusion-demote-subtree
O               org-transclusion-move-to-source
P               org-transclusion-promote-subtree
d               org-transclusion-remove
C-d             org-transclusion-detach
e               org-transclusion-live-sync-start
g               org-transclusion-refresh
o               org-transclusion-open-source

    † Also inherits ‘org-mode-map’ as of development version
      and planned to be part of 1.2.0

This should get you started with Org-transclusion. There are more options and customizing options available for you to fine-tune the text content you transclude. Explore the rest of the user manual and play with Org-transclusion to get familiar with it.

4 Usage

Next: , Up: Usage   [Index]

4.1 Org-transclusion mode, activate, and deactivate

Org-transclusion is a local minor mode; however, you do not need to explicitly call org-transclusion-mode. The minor mode is intended to be just a convenient wrapper to let you easily toggle between ‘activate’ and ‘deactivate’.

As you saw in the Getting Started section above, calling org-transclusion-add or org-transclusion-add-all is enough to add transclusions in your current buffer.

The minor mode is automatically turned on locally for your current buffer through one of these commands. All it does is to call org-transclusion-activate to activate hooks and some other variables. Their main purpose is to keep files in the filesystem clear of the transcluded content.

Turn off the minor mode or use org-transclusion-deactivate; you will remove all the transclusions in the current buffer and clear the hooks and other setup variables.

If you prefer, you can use org-transclusion-mode as your entry command for transclusion. When customizable variable org-transclusion-add-all-on-activate is non-nil (it is ‘t’ by default), turning on the minor mode calls the org-transclusion-add-all command to attempt to add all transclusions automatically in the current buffer.

You can control whether or not transclusions are to be added automatically per transclude keyword. By default, org-transclusion-add-all (it is also used by org-transclusion-mode) will work on every transclude keyword in the buffer. Add ‘:disable-auto’ property to a keyword as shown in the example below; ‘add-all’ skips transclude keywords with it.

#+transclude: [[file:path/to/]] :disable-auto

You can override the ‘:disable-auto’ property by manually calling org-transclusion-add at point. There are various properties like ‘:disable-auto’ to control each transclusion (refer to Index - Features for a list).

4.3 Transclude over a network with hyper://, http://, etc.

Version 1.4 includes changes which make it possible for asynchronously transclude content, e.g., over a network. To transclude content via ‘http://’, first install the org-transclusion-http extension (see extensions), then run M-x org-transclusion-add on the following link to transclude the HTML element with the “#emacs” id:

#+transclude: [[]]

To transclude content via ‘hyper://’, first install the hyperdrive-org-transclusion extension (see extensions), then run M-x org-transclusion-add on the following link to transclude the Org heading with the property CUSTOM_ID: emacs inside the / file inside the USHIN hyperdrive:

#+transclude: [[hyper://aaj45d88g4eenu76rpmwzjiabsof1w8u6fufq6oogyhjk1ubygxy/]]

4.4 Control levels of headlines per transclusion

When you transclude Org contents, you can specify a different headline level than those of the source Org file.

Use the ‘:level’ property with a value of single digit number from 1 to 9 like this example below.

#+transclude: [[file:path/to/*Headline]] :level 2

The top level of the transcluded headline will be set to the value of ‘:level’ property – in this example, level 2 regardless of that in the source. When the headline contains sub-headlines, they will be all automatically promoted or demoted to align according to how many levels the top of the subtree will move.

When you transclude an entire Org file, it may contain multiple subtrees. In such cases, the top-most level among the subtrees will be set according to the ‘:level’ property; the rest of headlines in the buffer will align accordingly.

Other ways to control include the following.


Make a transclusion keyword from a link at point. If you pass a positive number 1-9 with ‘digit-argument’ (e.g. prefix M-x with C-2 to pass “2”), this function automatically puts the ‘:level’ property to the resultant transclusion keyword.


Promote transcluded subtree at point. Mapped to “P” (capital “p”) by default in org-transclusion-map


Demote transcluded subtree at point. Mapped to “D” (capital “d”) by default in org-transclusion-map

4.5 Filter Org elements per transclusion

You can control what elements to include in many different ways with using various filters. The filters work in two layers: customizable variable and properties per transclude keyword.

The following two customizable variables are applicable to all transclusions globally. You can think of them as the global default.


This customizable variable globally defines the exclusion filter for elements. It is a list of symbols; the acceptable values can be seen by inspecting ‘org-element-all-elements’. The default is to exclude ‘property-drawer’.

Refer also to the sub-section on this user option.


This customizing variable globally defines whether or not to include the first section of the source Org file. The first section is the part before the first headline – that’s the section that typically contains ‘#+title’, ‘#+author’, and so on. Many people also write notes in it without adding any headlines. Note that this user option’s default is now ‘t’ (changed from ‘nil’ as users seem to spend time to “correct” this issue). Turn it to ‘t’ if you wish to transclude the content from the first section of your Org files. If you wish to exclude the “meta data” defined by ‘#+title’ and others, exclude ‘keyword’ as described in this section – these meta data are defined with using the ‘keyword’ element of Org Mode.

Refer also to the sub-section on this user option.

In addition to the global user options above, you can fine-tune the default exclusion filter per transclusion. Add following properties to transclusions you wish to apply additional filters.


This property lets you exclude titles of headlines when you transclude a subtree (headline); you transclude only the contents. When the subtree contains sub-headlines, all the contents will be transcluded.

Add ‘:only-contents’ without any value like this example:

#+transclude: [[file:path/to/]] :only-contents

This property lets you add elements to exclude per transclusion on top of the variable org-transclusion-exclude-elements defines. You cannot remove the ones defined by it; thus, it is intended that you use the customizable variable as your global default and fine-tune it by the property per transclusion.

Add ‘:exclude-elements’ with a list of elements (each one as defined by ‘org-element-all-elements’) separated by a space inside double quotation marks like this example:

#+transclude: [[file:path/to/]] :exclude-elements "drawer keyword"

You can combine ‘:only-contents’ and ‘:exclude-elements’ to control how you transclude a subtree. With these properties, you can really have great control over what to include and exclude. It might be a little overwhelming at a time but the changes via properties are easy to change – simply press ‘d’ to remove the transclusion, change the properties, and transclude again to see a new result.


This property lets you expand the file names in links to absolute file names.

You can use the property in the following way.

#+transclude: [[file:path/to/]] :expand-links

As an exanmple if you have the content of this source file like this:

This is a sample file link to [[]].

For this source file, you will get the following transclusion with the link expanded 1

This is a sample file link to [[file:/home/user/org/]].

4.5.1 Notes on excluding the headline element

If you add ‘headline’ as a list of elements to exclude, you exclude sub-headlines within your subtrees and you will still transclude the content of the top-most headline of the subtrees.

If you are transcluding only one subtree, this should be intuitive. If you transclude a whole buffer, you might be transcluding multiple subtrees. In some cases, this can be a little anti-intuitive. In the following examples, you will be transcluding three subtrees – even though the first headline levels are lower than the third one, the first two are still the top-most level of their own respective subtrees.

** Headline 1
   Content of Headline 1
** Headline 2
   Content of Headline 2
* Headline 3
  Content of Headline

4.6 Detach transclusion and copy source buffer

Detach is added to the current development version and is planned to be part of release version 1.4.0, and thus available only in GNU-devel ELPA. If you are using GNU ELPA, it will be available with the release of 1.4.0.

  • New command org-transclusion-detach can be used on the transclusion at point. It turns it into a normal, edtitable text content.

    You can undo this operation.

    In addition, you can press C-d directly on the transclusion at point to detach it. This is because the command is bound to C-d by default in ’org-transclusion-map’.

  • org-transclusion-refresh now accepts universal argument such as C-u M-x org-transclusion-refresh and detaches the transclusion at point.

    You can undo this operation.

  • org-transclusion-add now accepts universal argument such as ’C-u M-x org-transclusion-add’ and copies the source content rather than transclude it.

    You can undo this operation.

4.7 Live-sync edit

Experimental. You can start live-sync edit by pressing ‘e’ (by default) on a text element you want to edit. This will call org-transclusion-live-sync-start and put a colored overlay on top of the region being live-synced and brings up another buffer that visits the source file of the transclusion. The source buffer will also have a corresponding overlay to the region being edited and live-synced.

If you have other windows open, they will be temporarily hidden – Org-transclusion will remembers your current window layout and attempts to recover it when you exit live-sync edit.

In the live-sync edit region, you can freely type to edit the transclusion or source regions; they will sync simultaneously.

Once done with editing, press ‘C-c C-c’ to exit live-sync edit. The key is bound to org-transclusion-live-sync-exit. It will turn off the live sync edit but keep the transclusion on.

In the live-sync edit region, the normal yank command (C-y) is replaced with a special command org-transclusion-live-sync-paste. This command lets the pasted text inherit the text-properties of the transcluded region correctly; the normal yank does not have this feature and thus causes some inconvenience in live-sync edit. If you use vim keybindings (e.g. evil-mode), it is advised that you review the default keybindings. You can customize the local keybindings for the live-sync region by org-transclusion-live-sync-map.

Note: During live-sync edit, file’s content gets saved to the file system as is – i.e. the transcluded text will be saved instead of the ‘#+transclude:’ keyword. If you kill buffer or quit Emacs, other hooks will still remove the transclusion to keep the file clear of the transcluded copy, leaving only the keyword in the file system.

(substitute-command-keys "\\{org-transclusion-live-sync-map}")
key                   binding
---                   -------

C-c                   Prefix Command
C-y                   org-transclusion-live-sync-paste

C-c C-c               org-transclusion-live-sync-exit

   † Also inherits ‘org-mode-map’

4.8 Transclude source file into src-block

This feature is provided as an extension (default on).

You can transclude a source file into an Org’s src block. Use the ‘:src’ property and specify the language you would like to use like this:

#+transclude: [[file:../../test/]] :src python

The content you specify in the link gets wrapped into a src-block with the language like this:

#+begin_src python
[... content of]

Use ‘:rest’ property to define additional properties you would like to add for the src-block. The double quotation marks are mandatory for the ‘:rest’ property.

#+transclude: [[file:../../test/]]  :src python :rest ":session :results value"

The source block will have the additional properties:

#+begin_src python :session :results value

With since 2023-03-28 update, you can also use live-sync the source code transcluded into src-block. It is planned to be added to the next stable release.

4.9 Transclude range of lines for text and source files

This feature is provided as an extension (default on).

When you transclude text files other than Org files, you can use following properties to specify a range of lines to transclude.

4.9.1 ‘:lines’ property to specify a range of lines

You can specify a range of lines to transclude from a source and text file. Use the ‘:lines’ property like this.

#+transclude: [[file:../../test/test.txt]] :lines 3-5

The rage is specified by the number “3-5”; in this case, lines from 3 to 5, both lines inclusive.

To transclude a single line, have the the same number in both places (e.g. 10-10, meaning line 10 only).

One of the numbers can be omitted. When the first number is omitted (e.g. -10), it means from the beginning of the file to line 10. Likewise, when the second number is omitted (e.g. 10-), it means from line 10 to the end of file.

You can combine ‘:lines’ with ‘:src’ to transclude only a certain range of source files (Example 1 below).

For Org’s file links, you can use search options specified by the “::” (two colons) notation. When a search finds a line that includes the string, the Org-transclude counts it as the starting line 1 for the ‘:lines’ property.

Example 1: This transcludes the four lines of the source file from the line that contains string “id-1234” (including that line counted as line 1).

#+transclude: [[file:../../test/]] :lines 1-4 :src python

Example 2: This transcludes only the single line that contains the line found by the search option for text string “Transcendental Ontology”

#+transclude: [[file:../../test/test.txt::Transcendental Ontology]] :lines 1-1

Note: Search-options ‘::/regex/’ and ‘::number’ do not work as intended.

4.9.2 ‘:end’ property to specify a search term to dynamically look for the end of a range

You can add ‘:end’ property and specify the search term as its value. Surround the search term with double quotation marks (mandatory).

See Example 3 below. This transclusion will look for ‘id-1234’ as the beginning line of the range as specified by the search option ‘::id-1234’ in the link. With the ‘:end’ property, the search string ‘id-1234 end here’ defines the end of the range. The search looks for ‘id-123 end here’ in the body text. When found, the line one before the search string is used as the ending line (thus, the transcluded range will not contain string ‘id-1234 end here’).

You can also combine ‘:lines’ with ‘:end’. It will only displace the beginning, and the end part of the range (the second number after the hyphen “-”) is ignored. In the same example, the beginning of the range is the next line after “id-1234” (line 2). Instead of transcluding all the text until the end of the buffer, the end is defined by the ‘:end’ property (one line before the string ‘id-1234 end here’ is found).

Example 3:

#+transclude: [[file:../../test/]] :lines 2- :src python :end "id-1234 end here"

4.9.3 ‘:thing-at-point’ or ‘:thingatpt’ property to specify a “thing” to transclude from the source.

You can add ‘:thing-at-point’ or ‘:thingatpt’ (they are synonyms with each other and both work) property to transclude a certain “thing” at point to be transcluded. The following text elements have been tested to work:

  • sentence
  • paragraph
  • defun
  • sexp

Note: As it stands now, you cannot use ‘:thing-at-point’ or ‘:thingatpt’ to specify the precise beginning of the thing within a line – it is always the beginning of the line.

Note: The definition of sentence is controlled by various variables in Emacs. It is suggested to consult the documentation of function sentence-end. For those who do not use double-space after a period (in the language this is relevant), it is probably more intuitive to turn off customizing sentence-end-double-space. The default behavior is this: “Non-nil means a single space does not end a sentence.”

See Example 4. When you have a text file for prose, you can use paragraph or sentence as a “thing” to transclude. In this example, the beginning of the source of transclude is specified by the search option with “::Once upon a time”. The two colons “::” immediately following the file name denote the search option, which is a built-in Org syntax. Then the paragraph or sentence beginning “Once upon a time” is transcluded. When the source file contains multiple occurrences of “Once upon a time”, the first one is taken.

Example 4:

#+transclude: [[./things-at-point-dir/story.txt::Once upon a time][story]]  :thing-at-point paragraph

#+transclude: [[./things-at-point-dir/story.txt::Once upon a time][story]]  :thingatpt sentence

You can combine ‘:thing-at=point’ (or ‘:thingatpt’) with ‘:src’ property so that the transcluded text is wrapped in Org’s source block. Example 5 shows a way to do so. id​:​1234567890 is assumed to be present as comment in the source file.

Example 5:

#+transclude: [[./things-at-point-dir/baz.el::id:1234567890][barz-baz-fuzz]]  :src elisp

#+transclude: [[./things-at-point-dir/baz.el::foo][barz-baz-fuzz]]  :src elisp :thing-at-point sexp

#+transclude: [[./things-at-point-dir/baz.el::id:1234567890][barz-baz-fuzz]]  :src elisp :thingatpt defun

4.9.4 Transclude HTML content with Pandoc

If you have Pandoc installed, you can transclude local HTML files as Org documents.

This feature is provided as an extension (default off).

#+transclude: [[file:../test/source-html-no-ext]]

Since it’s not currently possible to add anchor links to local ‘file:’ Org links, HTML transclusions always render the entire document as Org. However, packages which transclude HTML documents over a network protocol that supports link fragments, such as hyperdrive-org-transclusion and org-transclusion-http, are able to render specific HTML elements by tag (see subsection).

4.10 Extensions

Org-transclusion provides a simple extension framework, where you can use customize to selectively add new features.

If you use customize, the features are loaded automatically. Note that it does not “unload” the feature until you relaunch Emacs.

If you do not use customize (e.g. Doom), you may need to explicitly require an extension. For example, to activate org-transclusion-indent-mode, you might need to add something like this in your configuration file.

;; Ensure that load-path to org-transclusion is already added
;; If you installed it with the built-in package.el, this should be already done.
;; (add-to-list  'load-path "path/to/org-transclusion/")
(with-eval-after-load 'org-transclusion
  (add-to-list 'org-transclusion-extensions 'org-transclusion-indent-mode)
  (require 'org-transclusion-indent-mode))

Currently, the following extensions are available.

(off by default) org-transclusion-indent-mode

Support org-indent-mode. Known limitation: when transcluded, the source will temporarily lose the indentation. When the transclusion is removed, the source will regain the indentation.

(on by default) org-transclusion-src-lines

Add features for ‘:src’ and ‘:lines’ properties to ‘#+transclude’. It is meant for non-Org files such as program source and text files

(on by default) org-transclusion-font-lock

Add font-lock for ‘#+transclude’. Org mode’s standard syntax treats the combination of a ‘#+transclude:’ keyword and a link used by Org-transclusion as a keyword. This means it applies the org-meta-line face and the link part cannot be toggled as a normal link. This extension adds org-transclusion-keyword face to the keyword part and lets the link part to be treated as a normal link for org-toggle-link-display.

(off by default) org-transclusion-html

Transclude local HTML files by converting them to Org with Pandoc.

(off by default) org-transclusion-http

Asynchronously transclude remote HTML files (and other file types) over HTTP. To use this feature, first install org-transclusion-http and then add the following snippet to your configuration:

(with-eval-after-load 'org-transclusion
  (add-to-list 'org-transclusion-extensions 'org-transclusion-http)
  (require 'org-transclusion-http))
(off by default) hyperdrive-org-transclusion

Asynchronously transclude remote hyperdrive files over HTTP. To use this feature, first install hyperdrive-org-transclusion and then add the following snippet to your configuration:

(with-eval-after-load 'org-transclusion
  (add-to-list 'org-transclusion-extensions 'hyperdrive-org-transclusion)
  (require 'hyperdrive-org-transclusion))

5 Customizing

You can customize settings in the customization group ‘org-transclusion’.


Defines extensions to be loaded with org-transclusion.el. If you use customize, the extensions are loaded by it. If you don’t, you likely need to explicitly use require to load them. See sub-section


Defines whether or not all the active transclusions (with ‘t’) get automatically transcluded on minor mode activation (org-transclusion-mode). This does not affect the manual activation when you directly call org-transclusion-activate


See sub-section


See sub-section


You can customize the way the org-transclusion-open-source function displays the source buffer for the transclusion. You specify the “action” in the way defined by the built-in display-buffer function. Refer to its in-system documentation (with C-h f) for the accepted values. M-x customize can also guide you on what types of values are accepted.


Define the lighter for Org-transclusion minor mode. The default is “ OT”.


Functions to be called after a transclusion content has been added. The hook runs after the content and the read-only text property have been added so it is not supposed to manipulate the content but to add further text properties. For example, it is used by the ‘org-transclusion-indent-mode’ extension to support ‘org-indent-mode’. The functions are called with arguments beg and end, pointing to the beginning and end of the transcluded content.

The hook can be also used to activate org-latex-preview for transclusions:

(add-hook 'org-transclusion-after-add-functions
          #'(lambda (_beg _end) (org-latex-preview '(16))))

5.1 Customizable filter to exclude certain Org elements

Set customizable variable org-transclusion-exclude-elements to define which elements to be excluded in the transclusion.

The filter works for all supported types of links within an Org file when transcluding an entire Org file, and parts of it (headlines, custom ID, etc.). There is no filter for non-Org files.

It is a list of symbols, and the default is ‘(property-drawer)’. The accepted values are the ones defined by org-element-all-elements (Org’s standard set of elements; refer to its documentation for an exhaustive list).

You can also fine-tune the exclusion filter per transclusion. Refer to the sub-section on filtering Org elements per transclusion.

5.2 Include the section before the first headline (Org file only)

You can include the first section (section before the first headline) of an Org file. It is toggled via customizable variable org-transclusion-include-first-section. Its default value is ‘t’. Set it to ‘t’ (or non-nil) to transclude the first section. It also works when the first section is followed by headlines.

5.3 Faces & fringe bitmap

5.3.1 Face for the ‘#+transclude’ keyword

This feature is provided as an extension (default on).


You can set your own face to the ‘#+transclude’ keyword with using the org-transclusion-keyword face.

5.3.2 Faces for the fringes next to transcluded region and source region

If the fringes that indicate transcluding and source regions are not visible in your system (e.g. Doom), try adding background and/or foreground colors to these custom faces.

  • org-transclusion-source-fringe
  • org-transclusion-fringe

To customize a face, it’s probably the easiest to use M-x customize-face. If you want to use Elisp for some reason (e.g. on Doom), something like this below should set faces. Experiment with the colors of your choice. By default, the faces above have no values.

 'org-transclusion-fringe nil
 :foreground "green"
 :background "green")

For colors, where “green” is, you can also use something like “#62c86a” (Emacs calls it “RGB triple”; you can refer to in-system manual Emacs > Colors). You might also like to refer to a list of currently defined faces in your Emacs by list-faces-display.

Other faces:

The default for faces org-transclusion and org-transclusion-source is no color or any other specification (transparent). An intended use of these faces is when you use packages such as org-indent-mode or org-modern, which might override the fringe org-transclusion places. To make the translusion and its source visible, you might like to put some background color to source and transclusion.


The default is no color specification (transparent).



The default is no color specification (transparent).



It is used for the fringe that indicates the transcluded region. It works only in on a graphical display (not on a text-only terminal).

5.4 Keybindings

  • org-transclusion-map
key             binding
---             -------

C-c             Prefix Command
TAB             org-cycle
D               org-transclusion-demote-subtree
O               org-transclusion-move-to-source
P               org-transclusion-promote-subtree
d               org-transclusion-remove
C-d             org-transclusion-detach
e               org-transclusion-live-sync-start
g               org-transclusion-refresh
o               org-transclusion-open-source

    † Also inherits ‘org-mode-map’ as of development version
      and planned to be part of 1.2.0
  • org-transclusion-live-sync-map
key                   binding
---                   -------

C-c                   Prefix Command
C-y                   org-transclusion-live-sync-paste

C-c C-c               org-transclusion-live-sync-exit

   † Also inherits ‘org-mode-map’

6 Known Limitations

Note this section is still incomplete, not exhaustive for “known” limitations.

7 Credits

Next: , Up: Credits   [Index]

7.1 Original idea by John Kitchin

{O} transcluding some org-elements in multiple places [2016-12-09 Fri] John Kitchin asks:

I have an idea for how I could transclude “copies” or links to org-elements in multiple places and keep them up to date. A prototypical example of this is I have a set of org-contacts in one place, and I want to create a new list of people for a committee in a new place made of “copies” of the contact headlines. But I do not really want to duplicate the headlines, and if I modify one, I want it reflected in the other places. I do not want just links to those contacts, because then I can not do things with org-map-entries, and other org-machinery which needs the actual headlines/properties present. Another example might be I want a table in two places, but the contents of them should stay synchronized, ditto for a code block.

This idea was inspired by

The idea starts with creating (wait for it…) a new link ;) In a document where I want to transclude a headline, I would enter something like:*headline title

Then, I would rely on the font-lock system to replace that link with the headline and its contents (via the :activate-func link property), and to put an overlay on it with a bunch of useful properties, including modification hooks that would update the source if I change the the element in this document, and some visual indication that it is transcluded (e.g. light gray background/tooltip).

I would create a kill-buffer hook function that would replace that transcluded content with the original link. A focus-in hook function would make sure the transcluded content is updated when you enter the frame. So when the file is not open, there is just a transclude link indicating what should be put there, and when it is open, the overlay modification hooks and focus hook should ensure everything stays synchronized (as long as external processes are not modifying the contents).

It seems like this could work well for headlines, and named tables, src blocks, and probably any other element that can be addressed by a name/ID.

7.2 Text-Clone

text-clone.el’ is an extension of text-clone functions written as part of GNU Emacs in ‘subr.el’. The first adaption to extend text-clone functions to work across buffers was published in StackExchange by the user named Tobias in March 2020. It can be found at The text-clone library takes this line of work further.

8 Contributing

Org-transclusion is part of GNU ELPA and thus copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). This means that anyone who is making a substantive code contribution will need to “assign the copyright for your contributions to the FSF so that they can be included in GNU Emacs” (Org Mode website).

Thank you.

Appendix A Index - Features

Jump to:   A   D   E   F   H   L   O   P   T  
Index Entry  Section

Activate / Deactivate: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate

Detach transclusion: Detach transclusion and copy source buffer

Extension - org-transclusion-font-lock: Extensions
Extension - org-transclusion-html: Extensions
Extension - org-transclusion-indent-mode: Extensions
Extension - org-transclusion-src-lines: Extensions
Extensions: Extensions

Filters: Filter Org elements per transclusion

Hooks - org-transclusion-after-add-functions: Customizing

Links with hyper://, http://, and other protocols: Transclude over a network with hyper// http// etc
Live-sync edit: Live-sync edit

Org Links Supported: Org links supported

Properties: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate
Property - :disable-auto: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate
Property - :end: end’ property to specify a search term to dynamically look for the end of a range
Property - :level: Control levels of headlines per transclusion
Property - :lines: lines’ property to specify a range of lines
Property - :only-contents: Org links supported
Property - :only-contents: Filter Org elements per transclusion
Property - :rest: Transclude source file into src-block
Property - :src: Transclude source file into src-block
Property - :thing-at-point: thing-at-point’ or ‘thingatpt’ property to specify a ``thing'' to transclude from the source
Property - :thingatpt: thing-at-point’ or ‘thingatpt’ property to specify a ``thing'' to transclude from the source

Transclude HTML content with Pandoc: Transclude HTML content with Pandoc
Transclude into Org’s src-block: Transclude source file into src-block
Transclude range of lines: Transclude range of lines for text and source files

Jump to:   A   D   E   F   H   L   O   P   T  

Appendix B Index - Commands

Jump to:   O  
Index Entry  Section

org-transclusion-activate: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate
org-transclusion-add: Getting Started
org-transclusion-add-all: Getting Started
org-transclusion-deactivate: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate
org-transclusion-demote-subtree: Control levels of headlines per transclusion
org-transclusion-detach: Detach transclusion and copy source buffer
org-transclusion-live-sync-exit: Live-sync edit
org-transclusion-live-sync-paste: Live-sync edit
org-transclusion-live-sync-start: Live-sync edit
org-transclusion-make-from-link: Getting Started
org-transclusion-make-from-link: Control levels of headlines per transclusion
org-transclusion-mode: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate
org-transclusion-move-to-source: Getting Started
org-transclusion-open-source: Getting Started
org-transclusion-promote-subtree: Control levels of headlines per transclusion
org-transclusion-refresh: Getting Started

Jump to:   O  

Appendix C Index - User Options

Jump to:   O  
Index Entry  Section

org-transclusion: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-add-all-on-activate: Org-transclusion mode activate and deactivate
org-transclusion-add-all-on-activate: Customizing
org-transclusion-after-add-functions: Customizing
org-transclusion-edit: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-exclude-elements: Filter Org elements per transclusion
org-transclusion-exclude-elements: Customizable filter to exclude certain Org elements
org-transclusion-extensions: Extensions
org-transclusion-extensions: Customizing
org-transclusion-fringe: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-fringe-bitmap: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-include-first-section: Filter Org elements per transclusion
org-transclusion-include-first-section: Include the section before the first headline (Org file only)
org-transclusion-keyword: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-live-sync-map: Live-sync edit
org-transclusion-live-sync-map: Keybindings
org-transclusion-map: Getting Started
org-transclusion-map: Keybindings
org-transclusion-mode-lighter: Customizing
org-transclusion-open-source-display-action-list: Customizing
org-transclusion-source: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-source-edit: Faces & fringe bitmap
org-transclusion-source-fringe: Faces & fringe bitmap

Jump to:   O  

Appendix D GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.3, 3 November 2008
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
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“Expanding” in Emacs means converting a relative file name to an absolute one. Info node ‘(elisp) File-Name-Expansion’