I want to save an email receipt as a PDF. I type a and v (for Action and View as PDF) and get Wrong type argument: stringp, nil. How can I save a message as a PDF file?

  • 1
    You might need to put msg2pdf working in order to achieve that. Alternatively, you can open the message in your web browser and save it from there as a pdf file.
    – Ajned
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 13:18
  • When I launch help for mu4e-msg2pdf, I get: is a variable defined in ‘mu4e-actions.el’. Its value is nil. I installed mu with brew install mu --with-emacs and running brew upgrade --with-emacs mu gives Error: invalid option: --with-emacs. How do I reinstall mu with mu4e or msg2pdf? Or how do I get the file location of the current message on disk?
    – emonigma
    Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 17:09
  • As you can see from this reddit post msg2pdf is not the easiest/most reliable way of getting a pdf. I'd use the web browser shortcut instead.
    – Ajned
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 13:53
  • 1
    I found how to view a message in the browser here, adding to my configuration (add-to-list 'mu4e-view-actions '("ViewInBrowser" . mu4e-action-view-in-browser) t). Do you want to write an answer?
    – emonigma
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 14:21

2 Answers 2


With wkhtmltopdf installed, here's a function that saves the PDF to your Desktop automatically:

(defun mu4e-action-save-to-pdf (msg)
  (let* ((date (mu4e-message-field msg :date))
         (infile (mu4e~write-body-to-html msg))
         (outfile (format-time-string "%Y-%m-%d%H%M%S.pdf" date)))
       (format "wkhtmltopdf %s ~/Desktop/%s" infile outfile) t))))

(add-to-list 'mu4e-view-actions '("Save to PDF" . mu4e-action-save-to-pdf) t)
  • @mmorin I replaced the call-process-shell-command function with shell-command. Can you try again. You could also replace it with print to examine the output.
    – jagrg
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 12:25
  • I asked this follow-up question about including message headers in the PDF.
    – emonigma
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 12:11
  • I see the From, To, Date, and Subject header fields in the PDF. I'm not sure what the issue is.
    – jagrg
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 2:00
  • I included a picture of the PDF output from your code in that other thread. I have mu4e-mu-version 1.2.0, how about you? The function mu4e~write-body-to-html does not mention if headers are included. Does the body of a mu4e message include the headers?
    – emonigma
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 11:58
  • 1
    Try the mu4e~write-body-to-html function in the master branch and see if that works for you. I'm using mu version 1.3.4 C.
    – jagrg
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 12:38

To get the same result, but with an additional step, I suggest to view the email in your web browser with (add-to-list 'mu4e-view-actions '("ViewInBrowser" . mu4e-action-view-in-browser) t) and to then print it to a pdf file.


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