True Custom Layouts for Character Sheets

I recently bought this software after watching this official video showing how you can do custom layouts of story sheets (characters in particular). He goes through the process of creating a new table and editing the sheet. When I go to do this I don’t get that same UI layout editor. Instead its a generic form based on the default form you normally get. The UI is also super clunky and not obvious when it comes to composing a sheet with your own custom fields. The worst thing is these fields are locked in place / size, which is not what sold me on the software when I was looking at these official videos breaking down the software.

I found a question answer on here from 2021 that shows how to edit a page layout. I go into Database, edit form layout, and it finally brings up the editor seen in the video. However, the edited form is not applied to my new table. It still uses the default style.

Is there a way to still layout our own custom character sheets / database tables with total control of where and how the information is displayed?

I really don’t care for the default UI on the current sheets. I am hoping there is a way to create my own layout and hook it up to a table.

Of course, I spend a couple of hours playing with this, trying to figure it out and after I post, I figure it out.

You need to click on “Database form instead of Sheets” button within the table. This will force it to use the layout that I mentioned being able to edit in my first post.

Honestly, I get trying to make “Sheets” a glossier version of these forms but I would rather see effort being put into making it so the form editor is more feature rich and “glossy” rather than forcing a cookie cutter sheet that is not intuitive to edit. I understand from a technical perspective it is easier to display a standard form but I also like being able to scroll a classic form and not having to click extra buttons for all of the information to be available. I would rather deal with a bigger window and less “widgets” if it means the information is easier to display in whatever way I want.

This software is really great at keeping things customizable, I think its worth preserving.

Great to hear you cracked it! This is exactly the way you can have the Character Forms available instead of Character Sheets.

The Character Sheets are a new feature introduced to Papyrus Author this year, so the tutorial video did not mention them - I’ll add a comment in there in case someone else is looking for the same information. :slight_smile:

We’ll have updated tutorial videos in the future! :+1:

Thanks for the feedback - I understand the fun of getting creative with the Character Forms.

When creating features, and improving on pre-existing ones, we consider the needs of creative writing, different writers, and find a balance there - customizability is great for some, but introduces a level of complexity that can be off-putting to others.

The Character Sheets are designed so that you can connect with your characters directly in your book, and the current layout of the Character Sheet aims to minimize the time spent preparing the Story Sheets, and maximize the time spent breathing life into your characters.

I appreciate hearing thoughts on the features, and I’d love to hear more opinions on the Character Sheets and the Character Forms! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hey Sam,

Thanks for the context on Character Sheets. I definitely agree that the current state of Character sheets is easier for the average user–as long as they are not trying to do any sort of customization. The “customization” aspect of the new sheets is very hard to use.

The tradeoff makes sense for a user that just wants to get going. As long as total customization is supported and possible, I think both advanced and standard users will be happy.

The only problem I see with Sheets currently is when you get your standard users comfortable enough and they attempt to do customization it will be off-putting from a UX perspective.

I also think that people who buy papyrus author are looking for a pretty large writing framework and complexity is acceptable. I think you could maintain or increase complexity as long as you put out enough tutorial videos showing everything used in detail. The 2020 videos are great, but it would be great seeing longer videos with more explanations in them–perhaps even with some different workflows in mind. Get a pantser to go over their writing process in Papyrus, get an outliner to do the same, etc. This would probably be the best counter to complexity. Users these days are more than happy to watch how-to videos that are detailed.

I appreciate the quick reply and please pass along to the team that this software is really great and I look forward drafting a few novels in it.

This is a great suggestion, and I’ll keep it in mind :grin:

I’ll pass the message along–it’s always a delight for the team to hear messages like this! :clap: