Phone PDF Format

Jeff Montgomery -

PhonePDFbanner.png

What is a "Phone PDF"?

While you're shopping at our marketplace, you may come across a title that has a label of "Phone PDF" as a downloadable file format. Phone PDFs are normal PDF files where the title has been reformatted by the publisher to work well on typical phone-size screens.

Typical game book and comic PDFs use the same page size as printed, hardcopy editions. This page size works great on tablets and monitors, but when you're at the gaming table, sometimes all you have is your phone. Pinching, panning, unpinching, and rapid scrolling around a large page size can become tiresome, especially when you're in the middle of a really great scene.

To solve this publishers take the book contents and change the design so the Phone PDF uses a page size similar to your phone's screen size. Usually all of the same content is included in the regular PDF and the Phone PDF file versions of a title. In the Phone PDF, the layout and artwork may look familiar, but the Phone PDFs are designed differently.

It’s better if you see a sample Phone PDF than for us to tell you about one. Please use this link to grab a free copy of Onyx Path Publishing’s Pugmire roleplaying game rulebook, and then try it out on your smartphone: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?discount=920e79d639

Using a Phone PDF

Phone PDFs are designed so you can quickly navigate them by touch using links in the PDF, instead of relying upon bookmarks or other navigation. Look for the Quick Links menu at the front of the book to give you links to touch to reach the most often referenced parts of the book. Links in the footer of each page help you easily navigate through the PDF.

PhonePDFsInActionsmall.gif

Navigating the Pugmire Phone PDF

Some of the link navigation in the Phone PDF file works better in certain readers.

If you’re on iOS, we recommend the Apple's Books reading app (which comes on every Apple phone) as it supports the Back navigation links in the Phone PDF.

If you’re on Android, then we recommend grabbing the free Xodo reader app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xodo.pdf.reader

as that reader has a built in Back function which will jump back one link. This is a handy feature when touch navigating through the Phone PDF (no PDF viewers we've tested on Android natively support the Back navigation links in the Phone PDF so Xodo's Back function is the next best thing).

Purchasing a Phone PDF

In the Browse categories on site, look for the Format>Phone PDF category (or sometimes Format>PDF>Phone PDF) to find titles that offer the Phone PDF format.

It takes a lot of extra professional design work for publishers to create Phone PDFs. A few publishers will offer the Phone PDF as a bonus file when you purchase the regular digital version of their title. Please consider showing them some appreciation when they do.
Due to the work involved though, most publishers will need to charge something extra for this file format. Look for bundles on site where the Phone PDF version of a title is offered in a bundle with the regular digital edition of the title. If you've already purchased the regular digital edition of the title, the bundle price will be discounted so you are only paying the smaller cost of the Phone PDF version; you're essentially only paying for the upgrade.

 

Have more questions? Submit a request

6 Comments

  • 4
    Avatar
    Nis

    Please consider encouraging publishers to make EPUB editions instead of these Phone PDFs. EPUB files are easier to read with screen readers and assistive technologies, easier to adjust the font size which is useful for the visually impaired, and they work well on all screen sizes and all mobile devices.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Janusz Strzelecki

    Epub files have many advantages, however they often can have problems with correct display of tables and pictures

  • 0
    Avatar
    Nathan Olsen

    Epubs also have issues with tables unfortunately. No perfect solution

  • 2
    Avatar
    Roman Emin

    This is a great format for this kind of book, a good compromise between small screens and consulting complex pdfs on the go. It is good to see Drivethrurpg helping publishers in new ways to distribute their work.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Reginald Cablayan

    Does this also work on [Samsung galaxy] android tablets?

  • 1
    Avatar
    Robert Peake

    Where are the guidelines and specifications for publishers please?

Article is closed for comments.