I like using pdf-tools to annotate a pdf file. Is there a way of hand-drawing an arrow (by dragging the mouse) in pdf-tools? It would help a lot in annotating pdf files. Even a template arrow (instead of hand drawn) would be good. As a possible solution I noticed that forward search from latex to pdf-tools does put a temporary arrow in the pdf file. Maybe a similar mechanism can be used to add an annotation arrow?

  • With customize variable pdf-annot-default-annotation-properties you can change the icon of text annotations. There is no arrow within the default list, though. But maybe you can figure out yourself how to add one.
    – jue
    Feb 14, 2020 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


There is pymupdf-mode now. It is hacky but does a nice job and is very customizable with only very basic elisp and some custom python pymupdf commands from the excellent pymupdf documentation.

  • I used the command 'pip3 install pymupdf' - as mentioned in the documentation. This installed stuff in my ./local/lib/python3.8/site-packages directory. But when I open a pdf file in pdf-tools and then type M-x pymupdf-mode; emacs does not recognize this mode. It says no match. Please let me know how to install this in emacs. It sounds like a very useful addition to pdftools. There must be something missing in the instructions for installation into emacs.
    – Vikram
    Nov 15, 2020 at 12:30
  • @Vikram Great that you tried pymupdf-mode. So this mode simply opens a python shell in a comint buffer and then it sends the necessary python commands to that buffer, while interpreting their outputs. Different GNU/linux distributions use different ways to implement python, and Emacs needs to be configured accordingly. I think if python is configured correctly then the instructions should work (not sure though). For sure I would like to know/(help you to) find out why it does not work there. But for that you should open an issue here. Nov 16, 2020 at 13:25

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