File links can contain additional information to make Emacs jump to a particular location in the file when following a link. This can be a line number or a search option after a double colon33. For example, when the command org-store-link creates a link (see Handling Links) to a file, it encodes the words in the current line as a search string that can be used to find this line back later when following the link with C-c C-o.

Note that all search options apply for Attachment links in the same way that they apply for File links.

Here is the syntax of the different ways to attach a search to a file link, together with explanations for each:

[[file:~/ Target]]
[[file:~/*My Target]]

Jump to line 255.

My Target

Search for a link target ‘<<My Target>>’, or do a text search for ‘my target’, similar to the search in internal links, see Internal Links. In HTML export (see HTML Export), such a file link becomes a HTML reference to the corresponding named anchor in the linked file.

*My Target

In an Org file, restrict search to headlines.


Link to a heading with a ‘CUSTOM_ID’ property


Do a regular expression search for REGEXP (see Regular Expressions). This uses the Emacs command occur to list all matches in a separate window. If the target file is in Org mode, org-occur is used to create a sparse tree with the matches.

As a degenerate case, a file link with an empty file name can be used to search the current file. For example, ‘[[file:::find me]]’ does a search for ‘find me’ in the current file, just as ‘[[find me]]’ would.



For backward compatibility, line numbers can also follow a single colon.