Thursday, November 26, 2009

Let me print it

Here's a gripe I have with pdfs. I don't mind they can't be edited, that's fine and while i like to be able to copy and paste turning that feature off is okay but when I can't print the pdf because printing is disabled I'm not going to buy the product.
If it's a pdf preview of a print only title, that makes some sense but it had best be free or almost free if that is the case. If it's a pdf only title it's never going to be purchased by me if the print option is turned off. I like to use my gaming materials at the game table and don't fiddle with electronics there. I also love the ability to scribble the heck all over a printed pdf, I've actually bought pdfs of print books I have so I can in fact scribble all over them as I play and not ruin the nice bound original copy. But no printing , no scribbling, no printing no use at the table top and if I'm not going to be able to use it at the table top I'm not going to buy it.


  1. Speaking as a dyed-in-the-wool luddite, I was unaware that purchased pdfs were print disabled. This has altered my thinking on purchasing same.

    I guess that in the minds of those who decide these things, they picture the DM with his books at one side, DM's screen in front and laptop/PC sitting beside the action.

    My PC is in a wholly different room, upstairs in fact, and I'm happy to have it thus. Apart from the convenience of it being there when we need to roll a new character up on the Dragonsfoot 1e character generator, I can't see any reason for it being at the gaming table.

    So yes, I'm with you on that, JD.

  2. They aren't all print disabled I picked up a dozen today (most were $1.00) and none of them had their functionality crippled by being print disabled.
    I've got a phone that I can read pdfs on and two computers in the next room over from where we game but it really is just a pain to juggle electronics, notes, notebooks and rulebooks all at the same time. And I can't scribble notes on a locked pdf like I can on a printout.

  3. I agree, that's why I never put in any of those crippling features to PDFs I sell.

  4. some pdf readers CAN print regardless of the print function being disabled...

    The FREE FOXIT pdf reader
    among others....

  5. Yeah - it is a bummer, I'd be hard-pressed to purchase a PDF that print-disables, nor would I produce such abominations! The PDF preview for print case you give above is about the only situation I can see justification - otherwise, it is just a data file, and there are far better formats available for that!

  6. There are tools that remove fair use restrictions such as those. At least I've used one to make read-only PDFs editable.

  7. That would tick me off. Luckily I haven't run onto that problem yet.