A Poll Concerning On and Off Screen Viewing of PDFS

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For those of you that use PDFs...

I print my PDFs out and bind them before reading them and don't normally read them on screen
14
7%
I print my PDFs out and bind them before reading them and don't normally read them on screen
14
7%
I print my PDFs out and bind them before reading them and don't normally read them on screen
14
7%
I print my PDFs out and bind them before reading them and don't normally read them on screen
14
7%
I read my PDFs on my computer and don't normally bother with a printed copy
9
5%
I read my PDFs on my computer and don't normally bother with a printed copy
9
5%
I read my PDFs on my computer and don't normally bother with a printed copy
9
5%
I read my PDFs on my computer and don't normally bother with a printed copy
9
5%
I read my PDFs on my computer and print out a copy
26
13%
I read my PDFs on my computer and print out a copy
26
13%
I read my PDFs on my computer and print out a copy
26
13%
I read my PDFs on my computer and print out a copy
26
13%
 
Total votes: 196

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jblittlefield
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A Poll Concerning On and Off Screen Viewing of PDFS

#1 Postby jblittlefield » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:33 pm

Just what the subject says. ;)

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Maldroth
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#2 Postby Maldroth » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:05 pm

I should mark this with an addendum. If there is material I need my players to read or look at or even myself at the table then I will print the needed pages. Otherwise the PDFs i have are reference material outside of the session.

I have printed adventures though since all the material is usually needed. I'm lucky we have a Kyocera Mita C3130 with a Fiery board. It prints in booklet format, folds and staples it.

Probably the nicest feature of having a PDF is the ability to print and carry only the needed pages rather than a backpack full of books I "might" need.

If I had a laptop I'd probably never print anything out :P
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#3 Postby dap6000 » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:19 pm

Yeah, I'm definately in a minority. So far I'm the only one who has voted screen only. I actually buy printed copies when I want dead tree editions. But truth be told, about the only advantage a print edition has for me is I can read it in the throne room. :wink:

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#4 Postby Mr. Freak » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:37 pm

It really depends on the book and weather or not I feel the need to. Some PDF's I've printed, some I've only ever looked at electroniclly. It's not as simple as I print all or keep all as PDF's.

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#5 Postby jblittlefield » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:51 pm

I always print them out, punch 'em, and toss 'em in a binder. I simply can't bear to read books on a computer.

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#6 Postby sinisterthings » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:32 pm

I marked "I print my PDFs out and bind them before reading them and don't normally read them on screen," but my full answer is:

When I first get a PDF, I print it out for the initial read-through.
After that, I read (and copy and paste) them on the screen when putting together scenarios and campaign information.
After that, I use the printed version at the game itself.

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#7 Postby razorwise » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:35 pm

sinisterthings wrote:I marked "I print my PDFs out and bind them before reading them and don't normally read them on screen," but my full answer is:

When I first get a PDF, I print it out for the initial read-through.
After that, I read (and copy and paste) them on the screen when putting together scenarios and campaign information.
After that, I use the printed version at the game itself.


Pretty much sums up what I do as well. ;) Since I'm at the computer most of the time designing, having the books in PDF "right there" is a godsend.

Regards,

Sean

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#8 Postby Seeker Jon » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:08 pm

The pdfs of rules and such I use a lot or REALLY like, I print out (Thank you RIT for 350+ free pages every quarter of copier style printing). I do look at them off my PC as well.

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#9 Postby palehorse » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:40 pm

I've got too dang many of them to print them out. Heck, if I'd printed out half the PDF's I reviewed for GamingReport, I'd have... well, I'd have a lot of kindling, since most of them stunk.

I've sent a few books over to PrintFu to get a decently printed & bound version made, but 99% of the time, I read on screen. But I also GM with a laptop.

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#10 Postby Leitchy » Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:54 am

This thread is really highlighting that it's personal preference. Me, I never use a laptop at the game; I find them simply too much trouble. In fact, I'm about to ban laptops at my games, because I had four out of six people with them at the last game (all 17" widescreen laptops; monster machines), and it was dull, dull, dull. Their attention was on the screen and not on the game. :x

And if the players aren't allowed to have a laptop on during the game, I can't justify the GM having one, can I?

As for the question, I look through the PDFs on my screen 20" LCD workstation screen to decide if/what I want to use. Then I print out the relevant sections of any PDF that's going to be used at the gaming table. Until then, it resides in storage on my server. If it's a useful reference that could be used at any time (like the toolkits) then I print it out, bind it with a comb binding system I've owned for years, add a cardstock back cover and a plastic front cover and I've got a nice book.

For stuff I use once, I print it, use it, then recycle the paper. If I want it again in the future, I'll print it again at that time (I just did this for Eye of Kilquato, which I'm running for the third time). In the meantime, I haven't got a gazillion more bits of paper floating around.
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#11 Postby jblittlefield » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:06 am

Leitchy wrote:This thread is really highlighting that it's personal preference. Me, I never use a laptop at the game; I find them simply too much trouble. In fact, I'm about to ban laptops at my games, because I had four out of six people with them at the last game (all 17" widescreen laptops; monster machines), and it was dull, dull, dull. Their attention was on the screen and not on the game. :x

And if the players aren't allowed to have a laptop on during the game, I can't justify the GM having one, can I?

As for the question, I look through the PDFs on my screen 20" LCD workstation screen to decide if/what I want to use. Then I print out the relevant sections of any PDF that's going to be used at the gaming table. Until then, it resides in storage on my server. If it's a useful reference that could be used at any time (like the toolkits) then I print it out, bind it with a comb binding system I've owned for years, add a cardstock back cover and a plastic front cover and I've got a nice book.

For stuff I use once, I print it, use it, then recycle the paper. If I want it again in the future, I'll print it again at that time (I just did this for Eye of Kilquato, which I'm running for the third time). In the meantime, I haven't got a gazillion more bits of paper floating around.


Ditto here...in most cases. ;)

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#12 Postby palehorse » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:29 am

Leitchy wrote:And if the players aren't allowed to have a laptop on during the game, I can't justify the GM having one, can I?


"You have 1 character sheet to keep track of. I have to keep track of everyone else, plus my adventure notes."

I'd say that's a pretty fair justification.

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#13 Postby Doc Holliday » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:51 am

I chose the first option, though I usually look through the document once before printing to look for pretty pictures. :)
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#14 Postby SavagedRobby » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:29 pm

palehorse wrote:
Leitchy wrote:And if the players aren't allowed to have a laptop on during the game, I can't justify the GM having one, can I?


"You have 1 character sheet to keep track of. I have to keep track of everyone else, plus my adventure notes."

I'd say that's a pretty fair justification.


Heh. My thoughts exactly.
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#15 Postby blindgamer » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:14 pm

Well, I said in the poll that I read the files on my computer and don't bother printing them out ... but I'm wondering if I should've picked option 3, because I *do* download a textfile version of the pdf onto a device I own called a Book Port which I can use to read textfiles wherever I go, which is pretty similar to printing the pdf out to carry it around with you and read it. Besides, once I start my gaming group (once DLR is out), I may bbe printing out pdfs. <Shrug>

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#16 Postby Alan » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:34 pm

I voted Other.

I like having pdf's as reference, I tend to print off the shorter ones - such as modules for reference. Main books, I've printed off a couple two for free at uni on laser printers one at home. The one at home was enough to convince me, never again. Regardless I much prefer hardcopy documents, the diea of readin a whole book on screen does nothing for me, I spend enough time on fornt of a screen already, mostly I find myself wanting a break, even if it is only to sit a few feet further away an watch a movie on a larger screen, read a book, or another visually taxing activity - no jokes please, no matter how tempting it may be.

And as for a laptop at a game, the first player that tries that shiv with me can expect to get slapped upside the head, I sure as hel don't needone etc - and cannot for the life of me see them being better than a sheet of scrap paper and pencil any time soon, and your just a player. Is that too harsh? probably. But I am quite a picky gm, I won't tolerate certain things/people/behaviour - they just are not welcome at my table. I do not hide this and make it known to my players and will talk with them about it before booting them, but to me no game at all is better than a game that *will do*

Back to the topic, yeah I find pdf's really useful but would shy away fro them in future unless the price of main book pdf's comes down, just because I don't use them that much. Which I perfectly understand is just not a good enough reason for the price to drop. I will continue to buy modles and bolt on's as and when they appeal to me to do so, but the only core books I'm likely to pick in pdf from here on out are those that will not be available in hardcopy. Or are cheap enough for me to pick up for the hell of it, but don't ask me how cheap that is as I have no idea. Which isn't useful but is subject to change a lot, for example, once I find employment.

Cheerio for now,
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#17 Postby Truckee Games » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:44 pm

On the topic of having a laptop at a game...I played with a group briefly, who loved to play X-Crawl, and every single person at the table, but me, had a laptop. Their characters were saved to spreadsheets, with all the math, forumulas for jumps, saving throws, attacks, spells, etc....all calculated out.

They were good people, but I didn't last long in that group for obvious reasons.
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#18 Postby Leitchy » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:08 pm

SavagedRobby wrote:
palehorse wrote:
Leitchy wrote:And if the players aren't allowed to have a laptop on during the game, I can't justify the GM having one, can I?


"You have 1 character sheet to keep track of. I have to keep track of everyone else, plus my adventure notes."

I'd say that's a pretty fair justification.


Heh. My thoughts exactly.

This shows the different styles of GMing. My adventure notes (complete with NPC stats) is usually one page, and never more than two. Pretty much everything else is in my head, or is made up on the fly. So I have no actual need (hence no justification) for a laptop. :)
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#19 Postby Cybrarian » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:23 pm

I may look at them on screen briefly to verify that the pages are laid out correctly -- odd pages on the recto (right hand side) and even on the verso (left hand side.) Its amazing how many are not. Then I print and either staple them (if few enough pages,) bind them with Aleene's Tacky Glue (ATG,) or run to the copy shop and have them spiral or velo bound.

My copy of the NEPG, which is currently within reach, is bound with ATG.


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