Pros and Cons of Landscape versus Portrait layouts for PDFs

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Landscape or Portrait for PDFS?

Poll ended at Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:03 pm

1. Landscape for both versions.
0
No votes
1. Landscape for both versions.
0
No votes
1. Landscape for both versions.
0
No votes
1. Landscape for both versions.
0
No votes
2. Portrait (standard) for both versions.
18
16%
2. Portrait (standard) for both versions.
18
16%
2. Portrait (standard) for both versions.
18
16%
2. Portrait (standard) for both versions.
18
16%
3. Landscape for full-color version. Portrait for printer-friendly.
5
4%
3. Landscape for full-color version. Portrait for printer-friendly.
5
4%
3. Landscape for full-color version. Portrait for printer-friendly.
5
4%
3. Landscape for full-color version. Portrait for printer-friendly.
5
4%
4. Opposite of above.
0
No votes
4. Opposite of above.
0
No votes
4. Opposite of above.
0
No votes
4. Opposite of above.
0
No votes
4. Opposite of above.
0
No votes
5. Whatever the publisher thinks is best.
5
4%
5. Whatever the publisher thinks is best.
5
4%
5. Whatever the publisher thinks is best.
5
4%
5. Whatever the publisher thinks is best.
5
4%
 
Total votes: 112

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razorwise
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Pros and Cons of Landscape versus Portrait layouts for PDFs

#1 Postby razorwise » Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:03 pm

Question for you all.

This discussion came up in a meeting today.

If you're getting your printer friendly version of a product in a portrait layout (8.5" x 11") would you prefer to get your full color spectacular version in portrait as well or landscape (11" x 8.5")?

Not making any promises about anything, just want your thoughts.

Please vote and lemme know your pros and cons, will ya?!

Thanks,

Sean

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#2 Postby Truckee Games » Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:11 pm

Good question!

If a .pdf is only ever meant to be used on screen, then landscape is best in my opinion because you can see the whole page: No scrolling up and down.

If a .pdf is going to be printed, then the standard portrait works best, for purely practical reasons (binding, et al).

I know from my own layout experience, however, this is twice the work for every product on your part, which may not be practical.

Whatever format you choose....I'm still buying. ;)
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#3 Postby SavagedRobby » Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:24 pm

I'm for portrait for both. For one - assuming its going to be done portrait for printing purposes - it means less time to produce, and therefore will cost less (or the publisher will make a little more - either is good).

More selfishly, when I view a game related PDF, I have the search window and bookmark windows open while I read, usually on the sides. This works perfectly for portrait formatted PDFs. For landscape ones, I'd have to change that ... and I hate change. ;)
Considering the alternative, life is just fine.

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#4 Postby jblittlefield » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:08 pm

I prefer both a high and low-res (read as print and printer-friendly) version in portrait. So long as I get these, I'm happy.

However, I would think that a printer-friendly version in landscape (for those using the product on their lap top during sessions). Of course, this requires extra time and effort (and in some cases money), so should only be done if the fans demand or is feasible.

I think it would also be a good thing to include an RTF version (with nothing but basic formatting) for those that like to cut-and-paste. This is easily generated from the final draft of the manuscript.

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#5 Postby Ben Jackson » Tue Dec 13, 2005 5:46 pm

Portrait! If someone is referencing and using the .pdf on their computer during play, they're more than likely going to at least have a search window open like SavagedRobby. Personally, I like everything in hardcopy, so portrait is also better for that.

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#6 Postby palehorse » Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:20 pm

SavageBrent wrote:I know from my own layout experience, however, this is twice the work for every product on your part, which may not be practical.


Anyone who's similarly concerned about cost to the publisher, don't be. For the time being at least, I work cheap.

And, if anyone's interested, I prefer landscape for the screen-reading version. Obviously the printable version will be portrait; that's sort of a given, I'd think.

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#7 Postby jblittlefield » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:17 pm

palehorse wrote: And, if anyone's interested, I prefer landscape for the screen-reading version. Obviously the printable version will be portrait; that's sort of a given, I'd think.


I think the only time landscape is better than portrait for on-screen viewing is when the publisher is too lazy to make a "screen-friendly" portrait version (i.e., single column). ;)

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#8 Postby palehorse » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:17 am

jblittlefield wrote:
palehorse wrote: And, if anyone's interested, I prefer landscape for the screen-reading version. Obviously the printable version will be portrait; that's sort of a given, I'd think.


I think the only time landscape is better than portrait for on-screen viewing is when the publisher is too lazy to make a "screen-friendly" portrait version (i.e., single column). ;)


With an 8.5 x 11 page, 2 columns are easier to read than 1, unless it's a fairly narrow column. Which is why RPG's are laid out the way they are in the first place.

If you're doing a digest-sized book (5.5 x 8.5) a single column is better.

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#9 Postby jblittlefield » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:07 am

palehorse wrote:
jblittlefield wrote:
palehorse wrote: And, if anyone's interested, I prefer landscape for the screen-reading version. Obviously the printable version will be portrait; that's sort of a given, I'd think.


I think the only time landscape is better than portrait for on-screen viewing is when the publisher is too lazy to make a "screen-friendly" portrait version (i.e., single column). ;)


With an 8.5 x 11 page, 2 columns are easier to read than 1, unless it's a fairly narrow column. Which is why RPG's are laid out the way they are in the first place.


Yes, but not on a computer screen -- unless you resize the page to fit the screen (or have a 19" or larger monitor), the page usually requires you to read a column and then scroll back up to the top of the next column.

For reading offline and printing, 2-column is the way to go; however, rather than making a landscape online version, it's easier to simply do a 1-column portrait version (easily created from your final draft in most cases).

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#10 Postby Bill » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:01 am

I would probably go for:

1) whatever is less expensive

2) portrate printer-friendly version

3) portrate printer versions

4) landscape computer viewable version as long as it doesn't add cost

5) win a big lottery so I can have everything I want printed in full color and bound with a 24" monitor to 'view' when I'm too lazy to pick up and search through the book :D
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#11 Postby palehorse » Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:21 am

jblittlefield wrote:Yes, but not on a computer screen -- unless you resize the page to fit the screen (or have a 19" or larger monitor), the page usually requires you to read a column and then scroll back up to the top of the next column.


That's the point of making a 2 column landscape: you can read it on-screen without having to scroll any given page.

For reading offline and printing, 2-column is the way to go; however, rather than making a landscape online version, it's easier to simply do a 1-column portrait version (easily created from your final draft in most cases).


The question here isn't "Is it easier for someone to make a 2 column landscape?", because (for me at least, since layout and graphic design was what I went to college for, after all) it isn't particularly difficult. It's "Which would you prefer?"

For reading onscreen, I'd much prefer to read this:

http://www.sitesled.com/members/zombien ... dscape.PDF

than this, the single column you're recommending:

http://www.sitesled.com/members/zombien ... rtrait.PDF

But other folks can look at them both and decide for themselves.

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#12 Postby Maldroth » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:25 pm

you know I guess it really depends on the material. Just by looking at your example I could see the benefit of two column landscape for say an Atlas or adventure situation where you could have a map on one column and the adjoining text on the other.
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#13 Postby Prest0 » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:07 pm

I think a companion question to the above poll is: how many people read their PDFs on screen (and GM from their laptop) versus how many immediately print them out?
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#14 Postby jblittlefield » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:34 pm

Prest0 wrote:I think a companion question to the above poll is: how many people read their PDFs on screen (and GM from their laptop) versus how many immediately print them out?


OK. ;)

http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8032

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#15 Postby Bill » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:59 pm

Talk about responsive to readers! :wink:
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#16 Postby sinisterthings » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:40 pm

Since I use both the printed and on-screen versions, depending on where I am and what I am doing (see other poll), having two layouts would make things more difficult. If I am used to seeing a table or paragraph in one place on the page (I scan by landmarks, not page numbers), and it moved when I switched to/from the printed copy, I might get lost and frustrated.

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#17 Postby Seeker Jon » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:16 pm

I never thought about it until I saw the poll, but now that I think about it, in an ideal world, landscape for on screen and portrait for printing. I realize that it would be double the layout work, so I have no problem with only portrait.

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#18 Postby palehorse » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:35 pm

sinisterthings wrote:Since I use both the printed and on-screen versions, depending on where I am and what I am doing (see other poll), having two layouts would make things more difficult. If I am used to seeing a table or paragraph in one place on the page (I scan by landmarks, not page numbers), and it moved when I switched to/from the printed copy, I might get lost and frustrated.


Bookmarks are one of the nice things about PDF's; they make that sort of thing a lot easier! It's really too bad more PDF publishers don't include them.

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#19 Postby palehorse » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:37 pm

Seeker of Truth wrote:I never thought about it until I saw the poll, but now that I think about it, in an ideal world, landscape for on screen and portrait for printing. I realize that it would be double the layout work, so I have no problem with only portrait.


The extra work is not really that big a deal. For this sort of PDF release, it's going to be at most 40-50 pages. Like I said, that's no sweat for me, so don't let it influence your choice one way or another!

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#20 Postby sinisterthings » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:56 pm

palehorse wrote:Bookmarks are one of the nice things about PDF's; they make that sort of thing a lot easier! It's really too bad more PDF publishers don't include them.


You mean like GWG? :? The lack of proper bookmarking and links in the SW PDF was the first comment and complaint by one of my players.


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