Irritating, useless, and unnecessary DRM

So, I'm trying to GM D&D Next on a regular basis in order to give good feedback, but the fact of the matter is, navigating 11 PDFs to search for the particular rule or piece of text is a huge PITA.

So, using a pdf program I have, I combined them into one file so that I can easily do a keyword search to find what I'm looking for... But it doesn't work because WotC put some kind of DRM/encryption/copy protection on the files to prevent any kind of manipulation or copying of text. This means that keyword search fails in the new pdf file.

Really, WotC? Is this absolutely necessary? Are you so paranoid about IP that you have to make it a major pain in the @$$ for the GMs who are trying to improve your product? 

Here's the thing: This will do NOTHING to prevent people from pirating the files. They can still be shared, and I'm sure a determined enough hacker could even break the encryption... which means the only people hurt by this useless DRM are legitimate play testers who actually want to help improve D&D. 

Seriously WotC. As GMs, we do 75% (if not more) of all the work in a campaign. Make our lives easier, not more difficult. At the very least, provide a single compiled file of all the PDFs along with the separate ones.  I don't give a darn if the pages are still numbered according to the individual PDFs... but I want to be able to search in a single file and if you're going to be foolish enough to prevent us from creating our own solution, then give us the option of a single or multiple files in the zip.


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Uh, before you jump to conclusions, I would first point the finger at your PDF program. I can copy and search my PDFs just fine. According to the document properties, there is no security on the files at all. You probably wouldn't be able to combine the PDFs if there was. I'd guess your PDF program borked it up.

It would be nice to eventually have it all in one PDF with hyperlinks, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. It's still a beta.
Right click -> Properties -> Advanced (near the bottom) -> uncheck "Encrypt contents to secure data"

Is it really DRM, or layout garbling remaining from the days when the giant grey diagonal "PLAYTEST" was stuck in the background?
Anybody care to provide a link to your unencrypted, consolidated pdf? Or is that a breach of agreement?

A fine cup of coffee, a comfy home, an occasional pipe, a glass of scotch, and company when I want it. Simply elegant.

It would be nice to eventually have it all in one PDF with hyperlinks, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. It's still a beta.

That works until you decide you want to print your PDF. Then you have a ton of ugly blue hyperlinks everywhere and want to strangle someone.

An issue until you understand your tools make this a non-issue.

Make sure you extract all of the docs to a single folder. Open Adobe Reader. Press CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + "F" and view the glory that is advanced search functionality for PDFs - you can search an entire folder's PDFs for a phrase, apply special options for finding results, etc. Its precisely how I do lookups when I don't know which doc the rule is in. 
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
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