Of course I already know about https://github.com/politza/pdf-tools.
I am on Emacs 24.5.1.
I am not convinced that doc-view is using mudraw/mupdf for pdf files.
(require 'doc-view) (print doc-view-pdfdraw-program)
However, the following screenshot says otherwise:
Emacs using doc-view on the left, zathura with mupdf backend on the right. Same pdf file, zoomed by hand to approximately the same level. The pdf is here.
As you can see, in the sentence starting with "For instance" for example, the superscript p, and the subscript n are much clearer in zathura. In doc-view, the n in particular is barely readable, if at all, even at this level of zoom.
I am obviously missing something, but not sure what.
(setq doc-view-pdf->png-converter-invocation 'doc-view-pdf->png-converter-invocation-mupdf)
from http://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=13164 does not seem to work.
The official documentation does not say much. Searching for answers comes up with that mupdf should be automatically used if it exists. I am on archlinux and have the official
mupdf packages installed. The strange thing is
(print doc-view-pdfdraw-program) still outputs
"mudraw" even after I uninstall the official
mupdf package (and after restarting emacs), although this is likely irrelevant.
If you the reader is successfully using mudraw/mupdf with doc-view, then perhaps you might want to download that pdf (and install zathura temporarily) and test out the quality you see in each program. If you see the same or similar thing as my screenshot, perhaps there is no problem here.
Perhaps the mupdf being used by zathura is actually different than the original one/the one doc-view uses. If I recall correctly, zathura uses its own slightly patched version of mupdf. However, my understanding was that zathura slightly patches it so that it works better with zathura itself, not necessarily patching the rendering parts themselves. This comment also seems to suggest that there should be very little, if any, differences between the rendering qualities (and speeds) between doc-view using mudraw/mupdf and zathura with mupdf backend.