The outline structure of Org mode documents lends itself to an
inheritance model of properties: if the parent in a tree has a certain
property, the children can inherit this property. Org mode does not
turn this on by default, because it can slow down property searches
significantly and is often not needed. However, if you find inheritance
useful, you can turn it on by setting the variable
org-use-property-inheritance. It may be set to
t to make
all properties inherited from the parent, to a list of properties
that should be inherited, or to a regular expression that matches
inherited properties. If a property has the value ‘nil’, this is
interpreted as an explicit undefine of the property, so that inheritance
search will stop at this value and return
Org mode has a few properties for which inheritance is hard-coded, at least for the special applications for which they are used:
:COLUMNS:property defines the format of column view (see Column view). It is inherited in the sense that the level where a
:COLUMNS:property is defined is used as the starting point for a column view table, independently of the location in the subtree from where columns view is turned on.
:CATEGORY:property applies to the entire subtree.
:ARCHIVE:property may define the archive location for the entire subtree (see Moving subtrees).