The plans contain writings, drawings and diagrams on it, as it is a chart containing the plans of the Thieves Guild. As opposed to the Silver Hand Stratagem, Imperial and Stormcloak Documents, Mercer's Plans actually has some writing that can be viewed.
This section contains bugs related to Mercer's Plans. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template 360 / XB1 , PS3 / PS4 , PC / MAC , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Keep in mind that if you wish to complete the Thieves Guild Quest "The Pursuit," do not take the plans until you are told to by Brynjolf. If you break into Riftweald Manor early and take the plans, you will be unable to complete the quest. Returning the plans to the table and speaking to Brynjolf afterwards will allow you to continue the quest.