Adobe FrameMaker Template Definition & Workflow

What is an Adobe FrameMaker template?

A FrameMaker template is a file which stores all the formatting information which is used in the file, and which can be utilized for building and formatting an entire book.

Do you need a premade FrameMaker template?


The two elements of a FrameMaker template

1: Document Level. FrameMaker stores the formatting on the document level in built-in "property groups".
  • Paragraph formats
  • Character formats
  • Page Layouts (Master Pages)
  • Table Formats
  • Color Definitions
  • Document Properties
  • Reference Pages
  • Variable Definitions
  • Cross Reference Formats
  • Conditional Text Settings
  • Math Definitions
  • Combined Fonts
  • Object Styles

These "groups" (Like for instance the "Paragraph Formats" or the "Object Styles") can be imported from one document to another, And together they form what constitutes as the properties of a FrameMaker template on the document level. All FrameMaker files have their formatting properties organized like this.

You can import the formatting properties from one document to another by using the command File>Import File Options. Point to the file from which you want to import formatting properties.

2. Book Level. Standard elements of a book

Typically you will work with FrameMaker documents as part of a book. You may work with single chapters in a book file or other documents which form parts of a larger book. A book has some standard elements like this:

  • Front page
  • Title + Copyrights
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Chapters
  • Index
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • Lists of References. For instance lists of graphics, fonts, paragraphs etc.
  • Lists of Markers. For instance lists of Authors, Subjects etc.

 Some of these files (the files marked with blue in the above lists) are generated files. Meaning that these are files which FrameMaker can generate and populate on the basis of book file settings and settings in the respective files them selves.

The layout and the settings in the generated files, are also to be considered part of the template. So one can have, for instance a table of contents and an index whiche can work as templates for generating other toc's and indexes.

FrameMaker Template Workflow

Adobe FrameMaker Template Workflow


Templates for Publishing

FrameMaker can publish to different file formats like PDF, HTML5 etc. While PDF is a file format which draws upon "analog" technology like page size, cmyk colors etc, all the other file formats do not. This implies, that there is a "mapping" of information from analog formatting to HTML formatting. The "recipe" for this conversion is what is stored in the Publish Settings file. Which makes the settings file a component in what we might consider a template.

Where do I store a FrameMaker template?

Framemaker templates are stored in the Adobe folder on your local computer. Here you can find an explanation about how you install your template.

How do I apply a FrameMaker template?

You can either

  • create a new document by using the dialogue from the Welcome Screen "Create New Document from Template"


  • import properties from one document to another. Open the document you want to import properties INTO and open the document from which you want to import properties. Click File->Import Properties and select the groups of properties you want to import.