Here is a fully form-fillable version of the Master Edition character sheet, as well as a short guide on how to DIY any pdf you’d like to form-fillify!
About the form: None of it does the math for you; it’s all manual, but there’s a spot for everything on the sheet! the picture portion is now a paragraph box for a visual description if a player’d prefer.
Now on to the meat:
How to Make Any PDF Form Fillable
The site I used here (and the one I recommend) is DocFly. It’s got a good editor that creates things like checkboxes that actually work! (You’d be surprised; some of the options out there are pretty bad.)
As of 2023/04, the free version has 3 “export credits” per day, which means that out the gate, I have to get this out: When you save your work, you have 3 shots to download it. Download to your computer then do google drive or whatever from there. Don’t waste an export.
A related problem is that the work is only stored on-site for 24 hours (for free), but as it can edit existing fillable documents, just make sure you have a copy locally when you’re done for the day.
The homepage will have a part in the middle where you can upload a pdf to edit, and when you do, it spits you either into the editor or into a dashboard where you can select the pdf you want to edit. When you get to the editor, you want the middle tab, labeled “Form Creator.” This bar has all the good stuff you need to get a perfectly functional fillable “dumb” pdf. It can’t do any of the math for you, but it’ll let you do a whole lot to make up for it.
- select: does what it says on the tin. Hold Shift to select multiple things, that you can arrange or align so everything’s all nice and even.
- Text: ok this one is… idk why it’s here. It’s not an editable text box, it’s just uneditable text.
- Text Field: For use in one-line fields.
- Paragraph Field: For use in multi-line fields. The in-browser editor has some weird ideas about how line breaks might work, but at least on my system, the resultant pdf will make sense of it all.
- Whiteout: OK this one’s under Editor, you got me, but the Paragraph Field is a lot less useful without it. Draw over stuff! Very useful for getting rid of lines for use as paragraph text. Unlike other editors, the white out stays under all of your form stuff so nothing gets covered up that you don’t want!
- Checkbox Field: A checkbox! It comes in sets of 1 and is DIFFERENT from the below Radio Fields. You can set the shape of the check to be several fun shapes.
- Radio Field: ok this one’s bizarre. Radios are different from check boxes in that check boxes are units, but Radios come in sets of 2+, where you can choose only 1. You can also set fun shapes for these checks.
- If you place one, it’ll throw up a menu. Here you can name each option (which is itself optional), but the important thing here is how many entries there are. For example, the items in ICRPG can either be carried or equipped, so that’s a choose 1 of 2 situation, so I chose for each item a Radio Field with 2 entries.
- Also they can be moved independently after they’re put down so don’t worry about the horizontal / vertical option here.
- Dropdown / List / Date / Signature / Initials Fields: Use at your own risk. I didn’t play around w any of these so who knows what any of that does. TBH if you’re doing a character sheet for a TTRPG then you’re probably good just using the above options.
Just a couple of notes:
- ALWAYS USE AUTO FONT SIZE!!! like you CAN do a specific font size but why? The software you use to actually fill out the pdf later can figure it out so let it! This also means that it adjusts to fill whatever space or text its given!
- The editor doesn’t have a lot of options for fonts themselves, even if the PDF itself has some wacky options already in it. If you’d like to really dig into this for free, download the free and open source Scribus and good luck!
- Whenever you click on a tool to create a new instance of it (ie a text field), it’ll copy everything about the last field of that type you selected. Font size, font alignment, width, height, you name it! Makes having to do a bunch of stuff quicker.
- Whenever you go to set something down, it’ll have guide lines for ONLY the thing you’re holding, and not for anything else. This is extremely inconvenient, but like the alignment tools are your friend.
- When you select multiple things, one of the things will be outlined blue (the most recently selected one) while the others are in teal. This means that the alignment tools will work relative to the blue one! ie, the “match width and height” will match everything TO THE BLUE ONE.
I hope this makes sense lol; It’s nearly 1:30 am here and I am going to SLEEP. I’ll likely make some improvements to the file over time like aligning and distributing fields etc, but that’s work for another day. Good night and good luck with your form-fillablizing!