Besides the .csl file for DDI Character builder available here, are there any novel ways of creating printable 4e character sheets that are more effective than the default printed sheets? Are there any programs besides character builder able to render them well?

Is there any way to render a character sheet from .dnd4e file to a A4 page?

While i4e and iplay4e do excellent jobs of electronic character sheet management, this question is interested in programs that will eventually render to PDF or printer.

The question is about parsing and rendering the .dnd4e or resultant xml file, not merely printing to PDF. If a .csl file is available for character builder that makes it suitable for a4, however, it is of interest.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Brian, can you further clarify the intent of this question? See AceCalhoon's response to my answer, below. Are you looking to just save as PDF, or do you need something that can change the layout of the character sheet itself? \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Oct 18 '10 at 15:15

DIY for Techies

The .dnd file is XML, so it can be translated into other forms. Of course, this requires understanding of XML and the target format, and an thorough grounding in XML translation techniques (probably XSLT). Write a program to read the .dnd file, translate the XML into HTML, PDF, or Open Document format, and then print it from there.

I do not know of anyone who has done this yet. There are likely copyright and EULA issues to overcome before someone could create and share such a program.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This I can do something with. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Oct 18 '10 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ You beat me my 7 seconds :) \$\endgroup\$ – Jagged Oct 18 '10 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm happy to offer a bounty here and help work on the XSLT, I just really don't want to make another XSLT alone, cause it's painful. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 18 '10 at 22:49

Not a great solution but I believe the DDI Character builder will export the character sheet to xml, which would be a better starting point for alternative formats.

I almost hate myself for suggesting it but you could then use an XSLT to convert it into different layouts.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ha. We duplicated each other. <=) \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Dray Oct 18 '10 at 18:20

Apparently the iplay4e guy converts .dnd4e files into his custom format, which seems a lot easier to deal with, as he'll probably change his format a lot less often and he'll always be working on the parser anyway.

Unfortunately, the export to i4xml doesn't seem to be working for me.

Reference: Enworld post.


I suggest using one of the several free programs available, that will allow you to create a PDF document from any application that can print. This is done by means of a "virtual print driver" that appears to the system as just another printer it can use like any other. However, instead of sending the output to an external device, it launches the application to give you options for saving the PDF.

Some of the top examples from Google are Primo PDF, doPDF, and CutePDF

  • \$\begingroup\$ Based on the example given, I think this question is looking for programs that provide alternate layouts / looks for the character sheets rather than a different print format. The last paragraph (which mentions PDF) seems to be doing so to distinguish it from iPhone apps. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Oct 18 '10 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point. Although, the Character Builder does allow you to move the content around quite a bit. I've found this suitable for most needs. He does also mention a need to render the sheet to an A4 page. This is a common standard size for printer paper, which leads me to believe that saving to PDF may be sufficient to suit his needs. (PDFs can be re-sized during printing from Acrobat Reader) \$\endgroup\$ – Iszi Oct 18 '10 at 15:13

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