A Beginner’s Guide to Adobe FrameMaker

Adobe FrameMaker

No matter if you are new to FrameMaker or an experienced author with many years of experience using it, this class will give you all of the knowledge needed to work effectively with structured FrameMaker.

FrameMaker initially ran on thirteen UNIX workstations running Sun OS and NeXT Computer’s NeXTSTEP operating systems. When Adobe Systems acquired this software, its primary objective was developing the structured version.

What is Adobe FrameMaker?

Adobe FrameMaker is a document processor used for structuring documents. Specifically tailored towards creating technical documentation, its flexibility and power have earned it widespread usage among professional technical writers. Part of Adobe Technical Communication Suite (TCS), FrameMaker includes RoboHelp software which converts its contents to various online help systems.

Adobe FrameMaker is a cross-platform application, used on both Mac OS and Windows, that is highly configurable to meet the unique needs of a project. This software enables textual and graphic creation as well as PDF generation; furthermore it uses XML technology for information storage in an organized fashion – common use cases include product manuals or technical documents for business.

Adobe Framemaker assessment evaluates candidates’ ability to use its software for producing complex technical documents and books, such as technical manuals. It evaluates several subskills including formatting and layout, working with tables and graphics, managing templates and styles and managing templates and styles. The testing goal is to assess how effectively candidates use various functions within this software to produce high-quality documents that meet organization-specific requirements.

The Adobe Framemaker assessment also tests candidates on their ability to troubleshoot issues related to using Adobe Framemaker software, an essential ability for shortening time spent reviewing and publishing content and meeting standards. Furthermore, candidates taking this test can identify those possessing skills necessary for becoming technical writers, editors or illustrators.

Why use FrameMaker?

FrameMaker is the ideal software solution for technical publications that require substantial information and structured content, and require multiple delivery formats and devices to support. It has many features that make it the go-to software, especially its ability to support multiple delivery formats and devices – not to mention its superior structure and layout capabilities that give FrameMaker an edge over competitors such as InDesign.

FrameMaker stands out from other word processing applications by employing its book file format, which separates document formatting and content into separate files to reduce recalculation overhead and make updating content faster. Furthermore, using system variables allows FrameMaker users to manage things such as page numbers, chapter and section numbers much more effectively.

Applying and reusing styles is key in any application, but especially in DITA authoring tools. Companies frequently develop standard formats they use for publishing content; maintaining consistent style applications across files is part of this process. Furthermore, much content imports directly from Microsoft Word so the ability to directly map these Word styles into FrameMaker styles can help maintain consistency across files imported.

Sharing code across computers is of immense benefit when working on larger projects, and FrameMaker development tools are very popular among technical writers working on teams. While InDesign offers some features like conditional text or CMS capabilities that FrameMaker lacks, FrameMaker remains an impressive and well-behaved alternative that is suitable for creating long, complex documents on multiple platforms. If your company is considering changing up its authoring tools for technical publications, a training course in Adobe FrameMaker could help determine whether this is indeed the best fit.

Document Management

Adobe FrameMaker helps simplify content collaboration whether you are an author of complex product manuals or casual contributor. With its document architecture that keeps content separated from format and allows authors to edit individual documents or books easily. Plus, this versatile program comes equipped with tools that make managing text, images, and structured elements simple and straightforward.

An exceptional scripting engine gives you the power to automate time-consuming tasks and increase productivity, providing a user-friendly script catalog/library where scripts can be created and run easily. Adobe Experience Manager seamlessly integrates with this solution for seamless experience management; printing marks/bleeds support as well as advanced publishing options like encrypted PDF passwords and deep DITA publishing options are among its many capabilities.

Adobe has made impressive strides to bring its XML editing tools up-to-date and supported for the latest XML standards, core technology libraries like Saxon Enterprise Edition and XSLT 3.0 as well as DITA Shell Editor for creating, modifying and constraining DITA documents.

Adobe FrameMaker also provides users with the capability of adding watermarks or stamps to documents for review or when needing to indicate confidential material – similar to RoboHelp’s functionality. This feature makes your documents stand out and demonstrates you respect the content that lies within them.

Adobe FrameMaker also includes features to track changes and compare two documents side-by-side, which is particularly helpful when working with other writers and editors who need to see what has changed between revisions. Text edit tracking lets you mark additions or changes to text which will carry over into saved documents when saving.


FrameMaker templates provide an efficient way to store properties that you often rely on across documents, so when creating new documents from one, their properties are automatically applied to that document. Templates also allow you to define and apply formats.

Adobe FrameMaker offers two types of templates: structured and unstructured. Structured templates contain an assortment of elements and formatting properties organized within an XML/SGML file known as PSET (Pattern System Template), while unstructured ones may be created via FMIF or MIF files.

PatternStream is an extremely effective solution for developing both structured and unstructured FrameMaker documents. It features a user-friendly graphical interface for setting up master pages, paragraph and character tag catalogs, table catalogs and establishing publishing attributes of FrameMaker documents. A conditional text tool is also provided.

Conditional text can help create alternate texts for various output formats like PDF, HTML and print. It provides a consistent format in all your documents while helping create more dynamic and responsive content.

FrameMaker comes equipped with a set of default conditional templates to assist in getting you started with creating your own documents. These include predefined values for numbering paragraphs and special characters as well as paragraph spacing and margins.

Create custom conditional templates by importing documents that contain conditional layouts and then editing variables manually. Any time a variable definition changes, all affected views will update accordingly.


Adobe FrameMaker provides teams with efficient collaboration features that help them work more efficiently together. Users can track changes, leave comments, and review content real time to boost team productivity and reuse it across documents as well as seamlessly import legacy material in structured or unstructured formats.

Adobe FrameMaker’s structured authoring tools offer solutions for meeting all of your single-source publishing needs, whether that means valid SGML applications or more basic word processing formats. Choose from DocBook, XDocBook and XHTML sample applications with support for DTDs, schemas and EDD files – then configure FrameMaker accordingly!

Adobe FrameMaker makes it possible to add interactivity to your documents by including hyperlinks and multimedia elements, while its built-in localization tools make managing multiple language versions a snap.

Adobe FrameMaker 7.0 software makes publishing single-source documents to Web- and hand-held device formats (like PDAs) possible using Quadralay’s WebWorks Publisher Standard Edition 7.0 software, as well as creating tagged PDF documents which allow visually impaired readers to utilize screen reader applications that convert text into speech more easily.

Adobe FrameMaker features an extensive set of XML integration tools that facilitate seamless collaboration and content management with many popular server-based systems used to host technical documentation. Adobe FrameMaker Server software can extract content stored in enterprise databases and document management systems before manipulating it through Adobe FrameMaker’s familiar user interface, then sync up with version control systems for accurate, up-to-date data.

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