I suggest a possible change to org-indent--compute-prefixes to
alleviate the problem.
When using variable-pitch-mode (which I particularly like as I
write a lot of prose in org-mode), the indent between headlines
and body text can be off, depending on the difference in the width
of asterisk and space characters in the variable-pitch font.
A workaround is to customize the org-indent face to a monospace
font to get it to match somewhat better, but this does not lead to
The indent of headlines and text is constructed like this:
This is for a third-level headline where ! denotes invisible
space, # invisible asterisks (in buffer text, but hidden here
because org-indent by default enables org-hide-leading-stars), and
* visible asterisks. This means we can still have misalignment
since it is only the invisible characters (added as wrap-prefix
and line-prefix with the org-indent face) that will (possibly if
the user intervenes) be set to a monospace font. We can’t assume
that the last two (I think) invisible (line-prefix) spaces before
the body text will have the same width as the indent characters.
One solution that seemed to work pretty well for me however was to
force org-indent to use the same character (*) for all indents and
let the face org-indent use the variable-pitch face (no
customization of face org-indent). This results in:
That is, exactly the same characters (#=hidden asterisks, !=hidden
space) preceding the beginning of the text in the headline and the
body (the last character before the body text is given by
org-indent-boundary-char, which is by default set to a space).
So for this use-case we get a much better alignment with the
prefix characters set to asterisk. That is changing line 155 in
org-indent, org-indent--compute-prefixes from:
(concat (make-string (+ n indentation) ?\s)
(concat (make-string (+ n indentation) ?*)
If people configure the org-indent face in some other way (with
visible characters for example, although I don’t know why this
would be a good idea) this could be a bad idea though.
Could it perhaps be made an option? What do you think?
A case which won’t be completely solved by this however, is if the
headline faces are customized to be larger than text (some like to
do that for a more word-processor-like editing experience). Then
the “* ” in the beginning of the headline will probably be taking
up more space than any character set for indent with a default
There may have been other cases I overlooked as well.
An earlier discussion of this was here: