No hyperlinks in the PDF :-(


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There won’t be one Zapp. Not here. They don’t respond to threads like this.

Sovereign Court

Zapp wrote:

Still no development on this?

Well, to be realistic, I don't think it's going to happen. Adding hyperlinks to a book this size if you didn't do it right from the start, is a fairly massive amount of work. Given that Paizo's current strategy seems to be "satisfy the hunger for more content" over "consolidate our existing content", odds of this happening are grim.

Scarab Sages

And then they'll have inertia stopping then from doing it in the future.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The inertia is already there.

But given the way they are struggling to meet schedules, I doubt that they are ready to take on anything that would slow them down as much as hyperlinking PDFs would.

Of course, if there is a quick and automated way to do this, maybe it will become more doable.


David knott 242 wrote:
But given the way they are struggling to meet schedules, I doubt that they are ready to take on anything that would slow them down as much as hyperlinking PDFs would.

*nods* I'd want errata/FAQ's for the core book before work on hyperlinks for it. Get one book right before 'upgrading' it or pushing out the next book IMO.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
There won’t be one Zapp. Not here. They don’t respond to threads like this.

Who are "they"?

Why won't there be one - there was one for the Playtest.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Adding hyperlinks to a book this size if you didn't do it right from the start, is a fairly massive amount of work.

No it is not.

Silver Crusade

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It is.


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Zapp wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
There won’t be one Zapp. Not here. They don’t respond to threads like this.

Who are "they"?

Why won't there be one - there was one for the Playtest.

Paizo staff, presumably.

You may get an explanation one day. (I feel sure it's come up before).

As Anguish mentioned previously though - it was obviously a deliberate choice. I'd be curious to hear what the reason was (I mistakenly thought it clashed with paizo's security/antipiracy measures).


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Rysky wrote:
It is.

Here we go again... Reposting from upthread:

Helmic wrote:


There were fan-edited versions of the Playtest PDF for every single update that came out, with everything hyperlinked *and* with update notes included (text would be crossed out and would show you the updated rules when you clicked on it, or would otherwise have wholesale new things listed off to the side in the margins). Fans did it quickly, often within a day or two of an update coming out.

Now tell me again it is a fairly massive amount of work.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zapp wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
There won’t be one Zapp. Not here. They don’t respond to threads like this.

Who are "they"?

Why won't there be one - there was one for the Playtest.

I’m pretty obviously talking about Paizo staff in this post. Edit: and by “there won’t be one”, I mean there won’t be a response to this thread.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Because to begin with, your quality control on this must be far greater than with a fanmade effort. "Fans for fans out of love" products get mostly away with errors with everyone waiting patiently for the next update, paid products are savaged apart for any errors by entitled nerds demanding fixes, now, immediately, or the book gets a 1-star review.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

The licensed SRD website is full of links. Fact is I am finding this free resource much more useful than the PDF that I paid for. I recommend people not buy the PDF and use the SRD site instead. Be sure to send customer service a note so that Paizo knows what they need to do to get you to buy the product. Not sure what their piracy protection of footnote watermarks with your name have to do with not doing links.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Because to begin with, your quality control on this must be far greater than with a fanmade effort. "Fans for fans out of love" products get mostly away with errors with everyone waiting patiently for the next update, paid products are savaged apart for any errors by entitled nerds demanding fixes, now, immediately, or the book gets a 1-star review.

It's a digital PDF. Paizo doesn't answer to anyone higher up. They literally don't need to do any expensive quality control here, and any QC they may elect to do can just be handled along with the inevitable next update to the PDF that's going to happen anyways because of the sheer amount of errata coming in. Errors can be corrected within minutes of discovery, because none of this goes to a printing press.

Holy crap why do people do this? Roll20's forums have an explicit rule against trying to naysay suggestions based on an erroneous belief that it'll be too much work, and I really wish more forums would do this. Let Paizo make an announcement about how much work is too much work for them.

This is such a relatively low-effort suggestion that I struggle to picture how people in this thread think RPG's get made at all if such small changes are prohibitively expensive. What do you think creating content or commissioning artwork or creating new PDF takes? It's a 600+ page book, I can guarantee you hyperlinking is barely going to to be a rounding error on their overall budget for the system. Years and years of development including an extremely long public playtest with surveys, including a desire to have that extended, and yet somehow hyperlinks of all things are what would cost too much to implement.

At least with all the silliness in this thread, there are online resources that are a bit easier to browse. It's rougher trying to actually read the rules as a whole on 2e.aonprd.com, but you can click on something if you want to learn more.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Gary Teter and Vic Wertz on hyperlinked PDFs, specifically Ultimate Magic, 8 years ago (Note that I have no idea how much the underlying tech has improved in the meantime):

Vic Wertz wrote:
MoFiddy wrote:
Gary Teter wrote:
Links are neat but they're also really time-consuming to create properly, which is why we don't do them everywhere it would be nice to have them. We have hired a new person whose job (among other things) will be to make our PDFs, and it's possible that will mean that we can add links to more of our PDFs. Whether that means we'll have time to go back and add them to already-created PDFs is probably a little more in doubt, but we'll know more once we get the new workflow set up.
Are you talking about links within the page (like the Core Rulebook) or bookmarks to each spell (like the APG)? Or perhaps both?

Better bookmarks will definitely be within her purview. Frankly, they should have been broken out by spell for this book in the first place, but there's not actually a person whose job it is to ensure that these things are standardized. Once she's on the scene, it will actually be her job to make sure we achieve greater consistency across products when it comes to PDF features.

Hyperlinks within the pages, though, are sadly unfeasible for a number of reasons, not least of which is that interdocument hyperlinks in the PDF format are so fragile as to be virtually unusable.

Intradocument links aren't quite as bad, and since the Core Rulebook is primarily self-referential, we opted to include them there. Books like Ultimate Magic, though, contain so many external references that providing *only* internal hyperlinks would look like a botched job (why is "magus" linked, but "cleric" not?).

To be honest, even incorporating internal hyperlinks in the Core Rulebook has made it painfully difficult to update the print and PDF editions of that volume, as well as the PRD, each time we do a reprint. While I'm glad we did take the extraordinary effort to create hyperlinks for the Core Rulebook, I don't expect to implement it in any other book until the technology improves.

{my bolding}


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It's always a seemingly inconsequential amount of work when it is someone else that has to actually do it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zapp wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It is.

Here we go again... Reposting from upthread:

Helmic wrote:


There were fan-edited versions of the Playtest PDF for every single update that came out, with everything hyperlinked *and* with update notes included (text would be crossed out and would show you the updated rules when you clicked on it, or would otherwise have wholesale new things listed off to the side in the margins). Fans did it quickly, often within a day or two of an update coming out.
Now tell me again it is a fairly massive amount of work.

Tell me again how someone(s) doing it eventually in a nebulous amount of free time is not?

The question has been the workload and timeframe, not that it was impossible.

Fans spending x amount of hours of their free time doing a labor of love is not really comparable to workspace mode.


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krazmuze wrote:

Not sure what their piracy protection of footnote watermarks with your name have to do with not doing links.

It doesn’t have anything to do with it. I was thinking of something else.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
krazmuze wrote:

The licensed SRD website is full of links. Fact is I am finding this free resource much more useful than the PDF that I paid for. I recommend people not buy the PDF and use the SRD site instead. Be sure to send customer service a note so that Paizo knows what they need to do to get you to buy the product. Not sure what their piracy protection of footnote watermarks with your name have to do with not doing links.

The Archives of Nethys has the rules and monsters, that’s their intent. You buy the books (aside from supporting the people who make the game so they can keep making the game) for the art and lore and to have everything. AoN only really helps me when I know what I’m looking for already.


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Rysky wrote:

Tell me again how someone(s) doing it eventually in a nebulous amount of free time is not?

The question has been the workload and timeframe, not that it was impossible.

Fans spending x amount of hours of their free time doing a labor of love is not really comparable to workspace mode.

I care nothing about your defense of Paizo not doing it themselves. The playtest fans really put them to shame.

I don't care who does it. I'm watching this thread to get pointers when it's done.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If it's so easy, why haven't you done it yourself already? I mean, it's few hours of light work.

Silver Crusade

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Zapp wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Tell me again how someone(s) doing it eventually in a nebulous amount of free time is not?

The question has been the workload and timeframe, not that it was impossible.

Fans spending x amount of hours of their free time doing a labor of love is not really comparable to workspace mode.

I care nothing about your defense of Paizo not doing it themselves. The playtest fans really put them to shame.

I don't care who does it. I'm watching this thread to get pointers when it's done.

So a fan or fans who may or may not have a full time job added hyperlinks to a playtest doc in their free time as a project of love and that somehow shames Paizo for not spending a non-insubstantial amount of work hours doing so on a much bigger project within their timeframe that was already full?


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Zapp wrote:
I don't care who does it. I'm watching this thread to get pointers when it's done.

I suspect if they implement such a thing, it’d at least make a blog entry. I’d keep an eye out there, if I were you.


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Gorbacz wrote:
If it's so easy, why haven't you done it yourself already? I mean, it's few hours of light work.

I'm assuming no one has done it with this PDF because, unlike the Playtest, this is a commercial product and so making it freely available would be illegal. Paizo has to do it.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Having done page layout and desktop publishing on occasion over the last... thirty years, I've been troubled by the repeated assertion that adding hyperlinks to something like the CRB is anything other than onerous. It's not my profession and I'm absolutely, positively aware that there are many things I don't know about automation and macros, but I'm at least passingly familiar with the tech involved.

So I found this oft-referenced hyperlinked playtest PDF.

Turns out it's... not real.

Hear me out. The PF1 CRB was heavily hyperlinked. Basically anywhere you could find the word "fireball", you could click on that word and it'd take you to the rules for that spell. Anywhere you could find the word "Stealth", you could click on it to take you to that skill's rules. Iron Will? Hyperlinked to that feat. And so on. The book was massively hyperlinked and it was very useful.

The fan-shortcut playtest PDF? Not so much. A few tables have been hyperlinked and that's basically it. Unless there's yet another copy floating around that's been done more extensively, the investigation reveals that the fan work is... massively incomplete.

Look, fact is that to do this right, someone has to manually create an anchor at each target desired to be a keyword, such as at the start of the "fireball" spell description. Then they have to search the file for every instance of that word and personally decide if the usage of the word deserves a hyperlink. It's possible to use words like "Toughness" at the start of a sentence such that you can't count on capitalization in your search to identify keyword usage versus real-word usage. Then, at each instance, you have to insert a link to your anchor. Repeat that for every desired keyword.

Sure, you might be able to make a pass through the book for any given keyword in... a handful of minutes. But there are hundreds of cases of keywords in these books. To do this right is nontrivial.

The example of the HTML sites such as Archives of Nethys and d20pfsrd have been brought up as well. I'm sure we've all see plenty of instances of words which are common keywords being hyperlinked when they're used in non-keyword contexts. That's because the people doing the data-entry have used automation to perform the task and haven't done it manually. A free web site's standard for getting it right isn't the same as Paizo's. Also, converting a word into a hyperlink to a page is almost literally a Find & Replace operation, replacing "word" with "word" surrounded by an HTML HREF tag. In a PDF it's nothing like that (as of the last time I performed that task, in InDesign - the page layout program Paizo uses - roughly three years ago).

It is less work to obtain the ability to add hyperlinks to a PDF you own than it is to compose and write this post. Fact. I recommend that those who maintain the task is trivial despite the evidence to the contrary (Paizo's not doing it, plus the fan-playtest document being basically not hyperlinked, plus the handful of people with actual knowledge of the process TELLING you it's nontrivial) should spend their time acquiring the ability and doing the (allegedly nontrivial) work for themselves.

In closing, I am absolutely, positively willing to apologize if I am factually incorrect here. I believe I am not, and that belief is predicated on research, experience, and exposure to the tech, but I'm open to the fact that there's always room for learning. But I'm pretty comfortable I won't need to eat crow.


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Count me as someone who would appreciate having the CRB hyperlinked.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Rot Grub wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If it's so easy, why haven't you done it yourself already? I mean, it's few hours of light work.
I'm assuming no one has done it with this PDF because, unlike the Playtest, this is a commercial product and so making it freely available would be illegal. Paizo has to do it.

Since Zapp wants it for their personal use, at what point is legality a question?

Dark Archive

The way I see it though, I definitely feel like it'd be worth it to pay extra money as customer for hyperlinks though.

But yeah, I have no idea on whether hyperlinking is hard or easy, but its definitely been handy in pdfs where it has been a thing. My guess is that regardless of truth in that matter, nobody in Paizo staff has expertise on subject, so if you think you are expert in subject and could do it easy and cheap(and in need of job), ye should probably send them message about that and try to ask them if they would hire you :p Dunno how well it works in America's job market, but I heard some people have gotten job by offering their IT knowledge to companies who haven't even been been asking for job applications in IT positions.


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Gorbacz wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If it's so easy, why haven't you done it yourself already? I mean, it's few hours of light work.
I'm assuming no one has done it with this PDF because, unlike the Playtest, this is a commercial product and so making it freely available would be illegal. Paizo has to do it.

Since Zapp wants it for their personal use, at what point is legality a question?

Not to mention that one could perform the work and then send the PDF to Paizo to update their master file. If it is as easy as some claim that could have been done in the time this thread has existed.

Liberty's Edge

As many others have correctly said ... this is NOT a quick or easy task, plain and simple. It just isn't.

I don't blame Paizo in the slightest for not doing it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The size/complexity of the task depends on the scope. For me, I like the bookmarks and think that the TOC should be linked so that I when I scroll into it, I can touch a link and go directly to that chapter. It's a minor quality of life issue that doesn't take much time to implement with proper setup, and it means that on my tablet I don't have to shrink an already small page by having the bookmarks open. (I use the bookmarks more on a laptop or desktop.)

Adding hyperlinks for every "see page XX" is a much bigger project. Add to that, the writers sometimes say "see page XX" or "page XX has more information" and different variations of the same, which makes finding all of the different references harder. Since it gave me a page link, I can type that number and jump right there from my tablet or laptop.

Those looking at websites, the technology is different there and I've seen hyperlinks in the middle of sentences that were contextually inappropriate because of the way the backbone of the automatic hyperlinking works to find words that match page titles.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

As many others have correctly said ... this is NOT a quick or easy task, plain and simple. It just isn't.

I don't blame Paizo in the slightest for not doing it.

If you got your PDF for free (and not by committing to every product they make) then complaining about the work not done is a bit silly.

But when they sell PDF for $15 when you already just bought the book? Buying the book paid for the content - so the extra fee for the PDF is for them to literally do nothing more than print PDF and get a cloud server to distribute them? Then that price is too high when free websites offer better functionality.

So pay for the book and use the free websites until they make a more functional PDF product worth the $15. Because the fact is using those two tools I can find stuff faster than you can in the PDF.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

... what


krazmuze wrote:


But when they sell PDF for $15 when you already just bought the book? Buying the book paid for the content - so the extra fee for the PDF is for them to literally do nothing more than print PDF and get a cloud server to distribute them? Then that price is too high when free websites offer better functionality.

The cost of the pdf is the cost for them to develop the game system, lay out the pdf, proofread, etc. The only costs that aren't included in making the pdf are printing and distributing costs associated with print. I mean, how many man hours do you think went into making 2nd edition? I think more than 0, which means they have a non-zero cost of delivering those pdfs to you.

I bought the pdf because it's cheaper than print, I can't lose or damage it, and I can read it as a book, unlike the websites which lack the same presentation. If you don't feel like you would get enough use from the pdf because you're happy with your print version, just don't buy it. Honestly though, $15 for a 600+ page pdf for a new system is a steal.


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Until I hear of layoffs at Paizo I don't buy that they have a lack of resources to do this.

Meanwhile I'll wait. But as of now, someone considering PF2 will be paying $15 for the PDF. When they open it they will want to jump to a particular chapter and will try to click/tap the chapter names on the right sidebar and nothing will happen. Many people don't know about PDF Bookmarks, or use phones/tablets. And so they will scroll down manually while their phone or tablet renders every page along the way. (Making a "lightweight" version of the PDF would be a godsend btw.)

I have no idea what's a reasonable timeframe for Paizo since I don't know their inner workings. But since this is their newcomer-facing core rules product, making it easier to navigate should be something on their list. As of now, we have no idea and they are not communicating.

Silver Crusade

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The Rot Grub wrote:
Until I hear of layoffs at Paizo I don't buy that they have a lack of resources to do this.
Time.
Quote:
I have no idea what's a reasonable timeframe for Paizo since I don't know their inner workings. But since this is their newcomer-facing core rules product, making it easier to navigate should be something on their list. As of now, we have no idea and they are not communicating.

What exactly are you wanting them to communicate?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Let's see. The objection brought up to hyperlinks is that Paizo books are as likely to reference other books as themselves -- and hyperlinks between books are fragile and easily broken.

Would hyperlinks to outside sources work better if they referenced the Archives of Nethys?

I am not sure whether doing that would make hyperlinks a more reasonable option.


David knott 242 wrote:


Let's see. The objection brought up to hyperlinks is that Paizo books are as likely to reference other books as themselves -- and hyperlinks between books are fragile and easily broken.

Understandable, but not much of an issue in the core book itself.

David knott 242 wrote:
Would hyperlinks to outside sources work better if they referenced the Archives of Nethys?

Easier initially, but that assumes those links never change AND that the information is all entered before the book comes out. It might be workable when the book goes into a new reprint run, but 1st day it'd be troublesome: both from a website being ready at start and the info being available day one as I think a lot of sales happen to get the info as soon as possible and if you can get it free online as soon as you can get it at your game store you see some drop in sale.

Paizo Employee

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The Rot Grub wrote:

Until I hear of layoffs at Paizo I don't buy that they have a lack of resources to do this.

What an ignorant thing to say.

A quick look at the careers page shows they're trying to fill a project coordinator and web content manager position, which means those jobs are pulling resources from other departments. Anyone following the social media channels would know that the design team went down a member when Stephen left, and that Owen retired from Starfinder around the same time another Starfinder dev moved out of the states. Some of those positions were filled from editing and others were covered from different departments that are still in the process of being filled (like John Compton leaving org play for Starfinder).

So there's only ever been 2 devs covering the Lost Omens line, there's currently 1 dev for each of the org play lines (with one of those devs also filling the responsibilities of being a lead), a design team that's been short-handed since the game launched which needs to have both the Gamemastery Guide ready for print and the APG playtest ready for October, and openings in both tech and project management. None of which even touches on the fact that they're a company who operates in an industry that has incredibly slim profit margins and also have to balance everything that's created being available online for free within a few days of release.

So the department that would have to do the manual work is short-handed and looking for a body, the department that would have to vet that work has been short-handed for almost two months and is in heavy crunch, the departments that might be able to lend bodies to the task are themselves short-handed and either training or waiting for new hires, and the position that would coordinate such a task is looking for a replacement. All while maintaining a full release schedule and increasing the amount of content produced while lowering the consumer's cost per page of content through products like the Lost Omens line.

Liberty's Edge

Ssalarn wrote:
Anyone following the social media channels would know that the design team went down a member when Stephen left ...

Stephen ... as in Stephen Radney-Macfarland?

Paizo Employee

Marc Radle wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Anyone following the social media channels would know that the design team went down a member when Stephen left ...
Stephen ... as in Stephen Radney-Macfarland?

Left to work on his Delve RPG over a month ago.


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I suspect Chris’s departure wouldn’t have helped with this kind of stuff either.

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