Problem description:

I am working on a small notebook and often find myself reading pdf's on half the screen, which is even smaller. Sometimes I would like to be able to zoom into a pdf a tiny bit more, which I can, but then the pdf gets left aligned and the text to the right is cut off. With a more common pdf reader I would simply scroll a little to the right. The whole text would be visible and everyting would be fine. For some reason scrolling to the right/left does not work for me in emacs. Please look at the image to understand my predicament more clearly: enter image description here

I looked at the pdfview wiki and found that the key bindings:



C-x >
C-x <

should both do the trick. For some reason they do not scroll the pdf for me. I cross referenced the respective functions bound to the keys in emacs and found that they seem to be correctly bound to the keys. The functions are:




The key-bindings are part of the pdfview-mode-map, the image-mode-map and the doc-view-mode-map. I seem to be able to use the other bindings from the pdfview-mode-map.

I tried to fit the pdf to the buffer width with W (fit pdf to width) as a work around but this solution still does not zoom enough as it respects the white space beside the text.

Can someone give me a hint how to get the scrolling functions working?

Possibly helpful information:

I am on gnu Emacs 28.1.

The part of my config with pdf-tools:

(use-package pdf-tools
 :pin manual ;; manually update
 ;; initialise
 ;; open pdfs scaled to fit page
 (setq-default pdf-view-display-size 'fit-page)
 ;; automatically annotate highlights
 (setq pdf-annot-activate-created-annotations t)
 ;; use normal isearch
 (define-key pdf-view-mode-map (kbd "C-s") 'isearch-forward)
 ;; turn off cua so copy works
 (add-hook 'pdf-view-mode-hook (lambda () (cua-mode 0)))
 ;; more fine-grained zooming
 (setq pdf-view-resize-factor 1.1)
 ;; keyboard shortcuts
 (define-key pdf-view-mode-map (kbd "h") 'pdf-annot-add-highlight-markup-annotation)
 (define-key pdf-view-mode-map (kbd "t") 'pdf-annot-add-text-annotation)
 (define-key pdf-view-mode-map (kbd "D") 'pdf-annot-delete))

(use-package org-noter
  ;; Your org-noter config ........
  (require 'org-noter-pdftools))

(use-package org-pdftools
  :hook (org-mode . org-pdftools-setup-link))

(use-package org-noter-pdftools
  :after org-noter
  ;; Add a function to ensure precise note is inserted
  (defun org-noter-pdftools-insert-precise-note (&optional toggle-no-questions)
    (interactive "P")
     (let ((org-noter-insert-note-no-questions (if toggle-no-questions
                                                   (not org-noter-insert-note-no-questions)
           (org-pdftools-use-isearch-link t)
           (org-pdftools-use-freestyle-annot t))
       (org-noter-insert-note (org-noter--get-precise-info)))))

  ;; Set key for quick access to working environments
 (global-set-key (kbd "C-d") 'desktop-change-dir)
   ;; fix https://github.com/weirdNox/org-noter/pull/93/commits/f8349ae7575e599f375de1be6be2d0d5de4e6cbf
  (defun org-noter-set-start-location (&optional arg)
    "When opening a session with this document, go to the current location.
With a prefix ARG, remove start location."
    (interactive "P")
     (let ((inhibit-read-only t)
           (ast (org-noter--parse-root))
           (location (org-noter--doc-approx-location (when (called-interactively-p 'any) 'interactive))))
       (with-current-buffer (org-noter--session-notes-buffer session)
          (goto-char (org-element-property :begin ast))
          (if arg
              (org-entry-delete nil org-noter-property-note-location)
            (org-entry-put nil org-noter-property-note-location
                           (org-noter--pretty-print-location location))))))))
  (with-eval-after-load 'pdf-annot
    (add-hook 'pdf-annot-activate-handler-functions #'org-noter-pdftools-jump-to-note)))
;; I installed pdf-tools, org-pdf-tools and org-noter manually
;; makes org-mode open pdf-links with pdfview
(add-to-list 'org-file-apps 
             '("\\.pdf\\'" . pdfview))
  • Try using M-x image-forward-hscroll within the pdf-view buffer, it might also inform you about the actual keybinding. Otherwise, you could also do M-x toggle-horizontal-scroll-bar to scroll via the scroll-bar. Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 6:57
  • Thank you for your suggestions! I didn't know about the horizontal scroll bar. Unfortunately the scroll bar appears but does nothing when dragged.
    – pana pana
    Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 8:55
  • Ah too bad... but does the first suggestion work (scroll a tiny bit) at least? Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 10:34
  • No, I didn't write that but I had tried that before. When I have some time I will simply try different emacs versions. Hopefully the problem is connected to 28.1 somehow.
    – pana pana
    Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 10:43
  • 2
    Testing the config part by part revealed that setting global-display-line-numbers-mode active breaks horizontal scrolling. Deactivating it was sufficient to get it working again.
    – pana pana
    Commented Oct 29, 2022 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


I had the same problem and I also discovered the hard way that global-display-line-numbers-mode breaks image-forward-hscroll.

I have the following workaround:

(defun bugfix-display-line-numbers--turn-on (fun &rest args)
  "Avoid `display-line-numbers-mode' in `image-mode' and related.
Around advice for FUN with ARGS."
  (unless (derived-mode-p 'image-mode 'docview-mode 'pdf-view-mode)
    (apply fun args)))

(advice-add 'display-line-numbers--turn-on :around #'bugfix-display-line-numbers--turn-on)

I already filed a bug report: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gnu-emacs/2022-12/msg02439.html

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