I annotate my reading with org-remark and pdf-annot. They work with EPUBs and PDFs respectively, and are not interchangeable, with inconvenient consequences.

What I would like to do is to bind a single key-binding to org-remark-mark and pdf-annot-add-highlight-markup-annotation based on the major mode of a buffer. If it is in pdf-view-mode, call pdf-annot-add-highlight-markup-annotation; if it is in nov-mode, call org-remark-mark.

At present, I have:

(map! :leader
        (:prefix-map ("r" . "reading")
                     (:prefix ("n" . "org-noter")
                      :desc "PDF Add Highlight Annotation" "h" #'pdf-annot-add-highlight-markup-annotation


(map! :leader
        (:prefix-map ("r" . "reading")
        (:prefix ("r" . "org-remark")
        :desc "Highlight text at point" "h" #'org-remark-mark

in my config.el on Doom Emacs.

I am thinking of working with hooks and conditionals, on a custom function, to be mapped onto SPCRR in place of org-remark-mark, but fall short of implementing the actual code.

  • 3
    The normal approach is to bind your key sequence to pdf-annot-add-highlight-markup-annotation in pdf-view-mode-map, and separately bind it to org-remark-mark in nov-mode-map (n.b. I am making assumptions about the keymap names).
    – phils
    Jan 13, 2023 at 3:18
  • @phils There is, indeed, a nov-mode-map and a pdf-view-mode-map.
    – Sati
    Jan 13, 2023 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


Not exactly as @phils suggested in his comment above, but I've fixed the problem with this setting in config.el:

  (map! :leader
        (:prefix-map ("r" . "reading")
        :desc "Make highlight annotation for EPUB or PDF" "h" #'my-reading-make-highlight-annotation))
(defun my-reading-make-highlight-annotation ()

  "Highlight text and activate the annotation notes for input.
This single function can be called for both EPUBs and PDFs."

  (cond ((eq major-mode 'nov-mode)
         (apply 'org-remark-mark (org-remark-region-or-word))
         (org-remark-view (- (point) 1))
         (switch-to-buffer "*marginal notes*")
         (evil-org-open-below 1))

        ((eq major-mode 'pdf-view-mode)
         (pdf-annot-add-highlight-markup-annotation pdf-view-active-region)
         (evil-insert 1)

Welcome other answers that propose to solve the problem in a more standard way.

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