Anyone have recommendations for software to design character sheets?

@paperfixie to design the look of them, or the contents? I use D&D Beyond for D&D characters because their sheets look nice and provide lots of guidance. If you mean "designing a new empty character sheet for other systems" then I'm afraid I don't know :)

@sil yeah I need to design one for the book I'm writing and wasn't sure what a good application for it would be. I'd like to be able to make it a form fillable PDF, but this sort of thing is outside my wheelhouse. Maybe I should just do it by hand with a ruler on graph paper.

@sil I do also love D&D Beyond for that stuff. I wish they would integrate a thing to manage fights easily.

@paperfixie they are reputedly working on an encounter manager thing, according to their dev updates. I've tried using improvedinitiative for that but I didn't get on with it.

@paperfixie So I use a word processor [OpenOffice Writer] to make mine. Now, it's a fairly involved process. You need to learn about tables, form design, how to position well.

I have also seen some people use image editors like Photoshop also.

@Scofisticated thanks! I was looking at using LibreOffice Draw since it'd allow me to make boxes pretty easily. I'm in a rabbit hole of picking out a font. :P

@paperfixie The thing about fonts is that you have to remember player readability. They wont be able to change form fillable fields. So they need a font that anyone can read easily.

Another fun thing is trying to put art accents too. Backgrounds are a about as far as I've gotten in this, but that have an effect.

@Scofisticated Oh yeah, my ethos for this whole project is that it feel organic, futuristic, and accessible. And the form fills (if I even go that way, I might just design on that can be printed out for now and call it good :P ).

@paperfixie That's kinda the idea here too.

But one bad thing about this way of doing it, that Photoshop might have the advantage, is making a blank field and putting it's title or intention on top or to the side. It's hard to do and save space.

@paperfixie My GUTS+ character sheet ( is a combination of Inkscape (vector art program) and Scribus (PDF creator for interactivity). Inkscape is great and Scribus is painful, but it work for me in the long run.

They both do have a little bit of a learning curve, though...

@Alamantus I was going to try Inkscape but you have to build it from source on a Mac and their instructions are not great for it. Were I on Linux, it'd work a lot easier

@paperfixie Whoa, I had no clue it wasn't built for Mac! That's insane to me...

I don't know if it'd help, but Scribus can /technically/ do the same stuff as Inkscape, but just with a worse interface. If you can get good enough at Scribus to do it all in one place, it could potentially save a lot of work!

@paperfixie I searched a little bit and it looks like an Inkscape older version, 0.92.2, DOES have a DMG file for Mac! It's still in the same major release version, so it shouldn't be too different:

@Alamantus yeah I tried it and you still have to get xquartz to run it, which is just strange to me. And I couldn't tell if I can just run the updates to it either. It frustrated me and I do IT. haha

@paperfixie Dang, that sucks! Sorry about that. Hopefully they get a better version out soon. Or at least they should remove "OSX" from the home page 😬

I hope you find a better solution, though!

@Alamantus thanks! I'll probably end up using a non-free image editor like Affinity Designer since I bought that already awhile ago and I generally understand it.

@paperfixie Nice! That should work just as well or maybe better since it's paid!

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