After upgrading to Emacs 27, I noticed that, for any org document, C-c C-e l o now behaves on my computer as C-c C-e l p: i.e., the pdf is correctly produced, but is not displayed anymore on side window.

Even when opening the document with emacs -q, I have the same behavior, so I guess that the problem is not related to my init file. (However, all my pdfs used to be displayed in Emacs with pdf-tools and not with the standard doc-view: don't know if this may be part of the problem.)

Anyway, when I run a C-c C-e l o on a file essai.org, I have the following output in the *Messages* buffer:

Processing LaTeX file essai.tex...
PDF file produced.
Running /usr/bin/xdg-open /home/fs/Documents/essai.pdf...done

but no buffer is created and displayed within Emacs for the pdf output. I have no clue for that problem...


  • 1
    Thank you for bringing this up, I have been experiencing exactly the same problem since updating to Emacs 27 - hopefully somebody can help us with that.
    – perceg
    Sep 10, 2020 at 1:23
  • 1
    I am also experiencing the same problem with emacs 27.1 running on Windows 10 build 19041.450. There is no problem viewing PDF files on emacs 26.3.
    – Alvin Sim
    Sep 11, 2020 at 14:03
  • 1
    It's probably not an emacs issue at all: what happens when you run usr/bin/xdg-open /home/fs/Documents/essai.pdf from the command line?
    – NickD
    Sep 14, 2020 at 19:48
  • 1
    ... and it's also a matter of expectations: apparently, some setting in emacs says "display pdfs using an external application" which is why xdg-open is called, but you are expecting the pdf to be opened in an emacs buffer using docview or perhaps pdf-tools.
    – NickD
    Sep 14, 2020 at 19:51
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? How to use pdf-tools (pdf-view-mode) in emacs?
    – Tyler
    Sep 16, 2020 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


A solution kindly given by a member of org-mode mailing list: simply add

(push '("\\.pdf\\'" . emacs) org-file-apps)

in the .emacs file.

This works for me.

  • Unfortunately, this is not working for me. In the Messages buffer, I see this message 'Conversion utility "rungs" not available for pdf'. Is this solution OS-specific? I am on Windows 10.
    – Alvin Sim
    Sep 16, 2020 at 13:04
  • 1
    Ignore my comment. It was something in my emacs config that prevented it to open PDF files with this solution. It is working now.
    – Alvin Sim
    Sep 16, 2020 at 13:52
  • Good to know! Just a question: do you use pdf-tools to display your pdfs, or just the standard DocView? (See @Tyler comment above.)
    – Philopolis
    Sep 16, 2020 at 14:37
  • I believe I am using DocView. I was getting DocView specific errors when I opened PDF files in emacs-27.1.
    – Alvin Sim
    Sep 18, 2020 at 11:45

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