Memorize these popular keyboard shortcuts to boost your productivity when authoring in Adobe FrameMaker. Print this PDF and pin it to your workstation to use as a ready reckoner.
I am sharing the desk pinup that I use to refer to the keyboard shortcuts for authoring in structured FrameMaker. This PDF is print-ready for A4 printers. If you wish to include modify the listed shortcuts, use this spreadsheet to edit and then print.
The above file contains a small subset of all the supported shortcuts and includes the shortcuts for the commands I use frequently. I suppose a good number of these commands are popular with other users. Just print it and stick to your desk, to quickly refer to and learn the popular shortcuts.
For shortcuts of broader tasks, including unstructured FM, see my other post titled Desk pinup mind map of the popular FrameMaker keyboard shortcuts.
Here’s a running list of FrameMaker tips I am compiling. I shall continue to update these, so feel free to bookmark and keep visiting this post 🙂
These are quick to read and are an immense productivity boosters. Happy authoring!
- Refresh the display by pressing Ctrl+L, if the display doesn’t seem correct while authoring.
- Create a new table row by hitting Ctrl+Enter.
- Add a tab inside a table cell by pressing Esc+Tab.
- Use FluidView format to preview documents. More info here.
- Modify the
ClipboardFormatsPrioritiesproperty in the
maker.inifile, to change the order of Paste Special options or the default paste option. Use this Google search to find the relevant information.
- Open the Paste Special dialog box, when pasting, by pressing Ctrl + Shift + V.
- Apply character formats using Ctrl+8 or F8. See a demo here.
- Apply paragraph formats using Ctrl+9 or F9. See a demo here.
- Create a site dictionary containing organization-wide terms like, product names, company name, and so on. It helps all your writers use spell checking effectively. More info is here.
- Run advanced searches in FrameMaker search window by using wildcards and some regular expressions. A list of wildcards is here.
- Jump to hyperlinks and cross-reference destinations in a FM doc by holding down Alt and Ctrl while clicking an xref.
- Lock or unlock a FM document using the shortcut Esc F l k. Or you can use the lock icon in the toolbar for Toggle View Only. Try this option if you suddenly cannot edit a document in spite of having edit permissions on the file.
- Use this desk pinup to quickly refer to keyboard shortcuts in Structured FM.
- Use this mind map to quickly refer to keyboard shortcuts in Structured FM.
What quick tips do you have under your belt? Share them in the comments below. Feel free to add a link (or two!) for more details.
Below is a running list of FrameMaker utilities, tools, add-ins, extensions, templates, and so on. Some are free, some paid. Some are recent and maintained, some outdated. Nevertheless, a big thanks to all the creators for providing these.
- Compilation of FM tools at http://www.techknowledgecorp.com/help/tools.html
- FM tools offered by Leximation at http://www.leximation.com/tools/
- A bit outdated compilation of sites offering FM tools at http://www.jeanweber.com/newsite/?page_id=73
- Translators for FM around MIF, LaTeX, BibTeX, et al at http://www.cs.stir.ac.uk/~kjt/software/framemaker/framemaker.html
- Adobe FrameMaker tutorials, training, and templates on about.com at http://desktoppub.about.com/od/framemaker/Adobe_FrameMaker_Tutorials_and_Training.htm
Share the links to free or commercial FrameMaker resources in the comments section.
We know how to find all the graphics used in a FM file. What if you want to find all the FM files using a particular image, screenshot, graphic, or artwork?
Say, an element of your UI has changed and you have to publish only those documents which use that screenshot.
Say, you want to change description of an artwork that is used in a few documents.
On a local copy of your files you can quickly search for such documents using the illustrated method. Besides native FrameMaker files, this method works on XML and other text files too.
You can download Ultra File Search from its homepage.
Updated Jan 13, 2019 to bring as much content in one place as possible from web.archive.org as the syndicated blog doesn’t exist anymore.
I blogged on my team blog here about how to create menus in FrameMaker.
FrameMaker lets you create new menus, add paragraph tags as menu items, and modify the existing menus on the user interface.
You can be more productive in the following ways. And there’s always the good ol’ showcasing of your FM know-how!
- Remove options to edit template components, from an author’s FrameMaker installation.
- Personalize the existing FrameMaker menus by rearranging commands on menus or moving out a sub-menu command that you use frequently.
- Shorten FrameMaker menus by removing distracting (for you) options.
Let’s add menus first and then understand how to create them. Before that, a word of caution though. Settings (flags) in the maker.ini file impacts how FrameMaker works. Be sure of what you edit, lest your destabilize your FrameMaker environment. Make a copy of the maker.ini file and restore it back, if need be.
- Download and extract this zip file containing the configuration file.
- Place the configuration file (cc.cfg) in the path C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\AdobeFrameMaker10\fminit\configui\ or a similar path in your Program Files folder.
- Open in Notepad, the maker.ini file from the path C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\AdobeFrameMaker10\.
- Change the value of the parameter ‘ConfigCustomUIFile’ to ‘fminit\configui\cc.cfg’.
- Save and close the maker.ini file. Restart FrameMaker.
- Notice the drop-down menus called CC (short for Common Commands) and Paratags appear in the main menu bar. They contain common commands and all the paragraph tags available in the document that’s opened.
Having seen the customization in action, now open the configuration file (cc.cfg) and read through the instructions, comparing them to what you see in FrameMaker UI.
Pro Tip: I strongly recommend getting Notepad++ to make such editing relatively more fail-safe.
Want to know about how to write the configuration file? Read this (PDF) document about customizing FrameMaker. Do share your use cases and experience in the comments section below.
So you have imported some graphics and images in your FrameMaker files and now you want to find out which ones were those.
It is advisable to import graphics by reference in FM files, instead of copying directly into the FrameMaker file.
To summarize the video:
- When you import images or graphics, import them by reference.
- For a single FM file:
- Select Special > List of > Reference.
- Include the Imported Graphics.
- Generate the list of references.
- For multiple FM files:
- Add all the files in a book.
- Select the book, and then Add > List of > References.
- Include the Imported Graphics.
- Update the book to generate the list of references.
Tip: If you have imported graphics by copying into the document, and assigned a particular paragraph format (eg. Figure title) to them all, you can generate a list of this particular paragraph format.