Friday, December 16, 2011

What Do You Require in Your Gaming PDFs (Technical Question)?

I've touched on this previously, but as the Rag-meister (Jim Raggi) has bestowed upon us a beautifully hyperlinked version of Carcosa, I figured I'd touch upon it again.

Many publishers don't even bother to provide bookmarks in their PDFs, which I would consider a necessary feature for any PDF over 30 odd pages (we can give the smaller pieces a free pass for now).

Hyperlinks in the text is the next step up. I know it's tedious, but Chubby Funster (aka Greg) has included it in his products on occasion, and he works and releases for free.

The hyperlinks have made Carcosa a different reading experience for me so far. I'd love to see the Rag-meister update Isle of the Unknown with hyperlinks (that's a hint son) as I think they would be real useful in a hex based setting as it is.

How important is bookmarking and hyperlinking in your PDF reading experience? Is there something else you'd want done to your PDFs to make them more useful at the gaming table?


  1. It's very useful for a product like Carcosa, but I use the Find function, more often than bookmarks, when it comes to most pdf's.

    Really, my main desire in a pdf is that it comes bundled with a print copy. :)

  2. I'm like Mr. James...I use Find more than links when reading PDFs. (I haven't embraced the tablet yet for my gaming, so I'm still a relative neophyte.)

  3. Those links and so forth may be very useful in a PDF, but the software to make it is incredibly expensive. I do what I can with free software and my copy of Microsoft Word - which is a lot more than you'd think - but fancy Adobe software simply isn't in the budget.

  4. Pat, not sure how time consuming using this software would be, but it appears to be free and open sourced bookmarking software.


  5. I have very simple tastes in a pdf. I don't use bookmarks and I hate internal hyperlinks. I too use the find function and find it quicker.

    I don't use any electronic devices for gaming and so don't need flashy pdfs to game with. I do print a lot of pdfs and for that I prefer ink-friendly files that are set-up for printing.

  6. You might be able to do the same (linking) in Scribus, which is also Open Source and free.

    I think e-publications are very underused, since there is a lot you can do with a PDF and I'd love to see someone go all-out and produce something that takes full advantage of the technology. Maybe I should give it a go myself (although it'd probably help if I had something solid in mind to actually publish) ;)

  7. I know I'm alone in this- but the text displayed as a single column would be really nice. ICONS products do this and makes them much easier to read on the lap top.

  8. For anything over about fifteen or twenty pages, if there is any document structure I want bookmarks so I can navigate at the structure level.

    Similarly, an accurate Table of Contents is good to have, but I'm likely to only use it when I print the document. Most of the time I'll use the bookmarks.

    An index is very useful. I'd like to see it hyperlinked, but it's not as important (again, likely sees more use in hard copy).

    Internal links are kind of nice to have, but since I expect documents of any particular size to be useful in hard copy as well they aren't as important to me. Even if I could click on a link to a particular game element I expect to be able to get there reasonably easily through the bookmarks or other tools.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition