The first application of custom searches is the definition of keyboard
shortcuts for frequently used searches, either creating an agenda
buffer, or a sparse tree (the latter covering of course only the current
Custom commands are configured in the variable
org-agenda-custom-commands. You can customize this variable, for
example by pressing C-c a C. You can also directly set it with Emacs
Lisp in .emacs. The following example contains all valid search
(setq org-agenda-custom-commands '(("w" todo "WAITING") ("W" todo-tree "WAITING") ("u" tags "+boss-urgent") ("v" tags-todo "+boss-urgent") ("U" tags-tree "+boss-urgent") ("f" occur-tree "\\<FIXME\\>") ("h" . "HOME+Name tags searches") ; description for "h" prefix ("hl" tags "+home+Lisa") ("hp" tags "+home+Peter") ("hk" tags "+home+Kim")))
The initial string in each entry defines the keys you have to press after the dispatcher command C-c a in order to access the command. Usually this will be just a single character, but if you have many similar commands, you can also define two-letter combinations where the first character is the same in several combinations and serves as a prefix key1. The second parameter is the search type, followed by the string or regular expression to be used for the matching. The example above will therefore define:
Note that the
*-tree agenda views need to be called from an
Org buffer as they operate on the current buffer only.
 You can provide a description for a prefix key by inserting a cons cell with the prefix and the description.