Transcript Annotation Tool

Hey, does anyone know of a tool that can take an IF transcript and create editor’s notes in it?

Just got done testing someone else’s game, which I’ve never done before, and spent 8x as much time formatting and writing a half-thorough, annotated transcript of my experience, and then the PM system said my document was too long, because I was doing all of this with the forum’s formatting system.

Hoping for something that can process a transcript to an HTML file with annotations in a second column, if I’m allowed to be optimistic.

That way I can just PM someone the HTML file as an attachment.

Thank you!

Over a decade ago I wrote a short guide to doing this in Microsoft Word. Probably not what you’re looking for, but posting in case there’s something useful in there.


Brad I think you’re a genius. I could probably do this in Google Docs, provided that the annotations appear in the exported PDF.

I’ll try this soon!

EDIT: There’s a chance that LibreOffice could do this too.


If you work out and share updated instructions for this sort of thing, please share them here! I’ll happily update that old blog post to link to them as well.

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It sounds like you’ve got a good solution and I’m not sure whether you’re talking about a choice-based game or a parser one, but in case you’re considering a low-effort approach to the latter (my personal favorites!) what I’ve usually done and seen done is to just type annotations straight in as you play, usually prefaced by an asterisk or other character to make it easy for the author to find the note.


Yeah, sounds like any symbol, but the manual suggests *? Writing with Inform, 24.7 Commands for beta testers


It’s for parser games…! :smile:

Will this work in a TADS interpreter?

The only concerns I have are:

  1. Transcript readability; plain text documents can make the eyes glaze over.
  2. Annotating for spelling or rewording a sentence, where it’s important to specifically highlight where the suggestion would be placed, what the original text said, and what your suggested text says (preferably in a way that stands out from the original).

For what it’s worth, I think there’s supposed a way to do this in LibreOffice, but attempting to open the resulting PDF makes my reader crash. Attempting to export an HTML alternative looks ugly as…well…it looks really bad.

I’m not sure if it’s exactly what you’re looking for, and I haven’t tried to see if it still works, and in fact I’ve never used it, but I bookmarked this a long long time ago:


Yeah, this came up with a blank page when I tried it. I checked the encoding option, too.

It’s starting to look like I might have a new coding project on my hands…

For getting nicely formatted second-column annotations in HTML, this might be a good resource:


Yeah, I’ve done this when testing TADS games too, I don’t think there are any material differences there. You’re definitely right that it does make correcting typos a bit more annoying since you need to write out the place where the typo is and then correct it, but I personally find it easier than going back and re-annotating.

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My friend, will you please look upon the dripping amounts of style on this webpage? Oh my god.

Just look at that.

I am in awe. Do you think that was automated, or do they have ultra-fancy jpgs of capital letters just hanging around their resource folder, just for opportunities like these?

What if I started using this while typing on the forum? Just have big ol’ 64x64, ultra-stylish, capital letters to open every post. Absolutely incredible. I need to write an email to whoever made this webpage. They need to know that their work has not gone unappreciated.


Fancy Excellent! Might even do an convention were >*SP werre > were would be for spellcheck, just to make CTRL+F work better later.

EDIT: See? Whipped up this fancy capital “E” in like 1.5 minutes. Look at how majestic that is! Gah!

(I’m sorry, I will not actually do this as a persistent thing.)


From looking with the Inspect Tool, it might be an actual font. nevermind, it’s prob an image. Maybe some sort of fancy JavaScrip coding transforming the first letter into an image?

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I suspect it’s an ornamental font with all the letters and the page has rules to make it wrap like that.

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Gah, welcome to the future, everyone! What a time to be alive! Imagine showing this to people who used to hand-paint such things into books! It’d blow their minds, for multiple reasons!

For example…

“Why is a stranger with a beard and black kilt excitedly showing me a glowing picture on a handheld rectangle?? Are you Scottish…? Aren’t kilts usually plaid? Who are you?? Get out of my house, fiend!!
— Some rando from the before-times, probably

Okay, for real, I appreciate you posting this. I know I suddenly lost myself while beholding the MIGHTY “S”, but once I pull myself through its blinding brilliance, I’m gonna figure out how to implement some of this into an HTML-ized transcript. I feel bad for not taking the time to actually thank you, before I went off on a silly bit.


Maybe a <span> wrapped around the first letter where you defined the font family as the fancy calligraphy font of your choice?


sigh I tried not to be nerd-sniped into this conversation, but I can’t resist adding that the ::first-letter CSS pseudo-selector exists.


Ooooh :eyes: Thank you!


Brad, please promise me that you will not resist being nerd-sniped into any conversation. I’m absolutely here for this web-dev stuff, lol.

Also, I need you all to know that the coffee kicked in maybe 45 min ago, and I have been laughing so hard at both the MIGHTY “S”, and at how ridiculously out-of-place my AMATEUR “E” looks in that other post. I am typing this through teary eyes.

This forum is amazing.

EDIT: I have now read the attached XKCD comic. Please do not get nerd-sniped, if it puts you in danger of an oncoming vehicle. I feel like that should be obvious, but y’know!