How can I set which pdf viewer org-export uses when it exports to latex and pdf and views?

I'm using the command C-c C-e l o with default keybindings (Emacs 24.5). Currently it always uses xpdf, even though I am using pdf-tools and have set AUCTeX to use Zathura. I have also tried setting the openwith-associations variable to no avail.

1 Answer 1


org-file-apps is a variable defined in ‘org.el’.

Documentation: External applications for opening ‘file:path’ items in a document. Org-mode uses system defaults for different file types, but you can use this variable to set the application for a given file extension. The entries in this list are cons cells where the car identifies files and the cdr the corresponding command.

Read the full documentation to find out the different ways to configure the variable.

A simple example would be something like this:

(add-to-list 'org-file-apps '("\\.pdf" . "some shell command %s"))
  • 1
    I ended up using the customize interface. Thank you!
    – salotz
    Nov 10, 2015 at 20:49

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