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FrameMaker plug-ins

Properties of FM plug-ins
Essential FrameMaker plug-ins
Further links

Properties of FM plug-ins

FrameMaker plug-ins speed up your work. In contrast to plug-ins in other applications, FrameMaker plug-ins need not be present at a target installation opening a FrameMaker document handled with plug-ins.

Two types of plug-ins are distinguished in the context of FrameMaker:

When installed, plug-ins become visible as additional functions to standard menus (such as Graphics > Clear Runarounds) or they set up an new main menu (such as FrameScript).

A special kind of plug-ins react on specific events. They become active, for example, just before a file is saved or when a graphic is imported. The operation of these plug-ins may completely be hidden or become visible by a modified or new dialogue.

Essential FrameMaker plug-ins

A 'complete list of FrameMaker plug-ins' does not exist. However my favorite list is that of Leximation.
The following is my personal list of 'must have' plug-ins. For special needs, some authors provide services to develop custom plug-ins to solve special problems in a distinct environment.

FrameMaker Express Customisation
Index tools
More plug-ins


Purpose Allows you to define a set of text or graphic items and easily insert them into any FrameMaker document. The items may be tables and other objects.
Author Silicon Prairie Software
Type Shareware, USD 10.-
Platforms SUN Solaris, Mac, Windows
User interface Top menu AutoText with defined items as menu entries. Submenues may be defined. All items are defined in autotext.fm .
Documentation PDF with the product.


2016-02-21: Unfortunately this plug-in is no more available since the FM-8 days. SandyBrook Software has changed its focus.

Purpose Provide structured view of the document (comparable to MS Word structure view). Format hierarchy can be defined (e.g. headings). Collapse and expand structure, move structural elements.
Author SandyBrook Software
Type Commercial, USD xxx.-
Platforms Windows
User interface Top menu Enhance. Enhance uses an own window for its functions and operations on the FM document.
Documentation FrameMaker documents with the product.

Screenshot form the structure view created by the plug-in Enhance

FrameMaker Express Customisation

Purpose Enhance Button bar and Formatting Bar for larger screens. Provide useful keyboard-shortcuts. Add access to useful documents to Equation palette.
For FrameMaker 8 and below only. For later FM versions you my look at my Enhanced Tool Bars
Author Shlomo Perets, mycrotype.com
Type Freeware
Platforms Windows
User interface Enlarged button bar and Formatting bar, new KB-shortcuts, additional table in Equation palette, more Help topics.
Documentation PDF within downloaded file.

Screen shot of the extended tool bar from Shlomo Perets with many additional buttons



Sets of FrameScript tools divided into 4 levels. The list of tools given here is only an excerpt. There are many more in each level:
Base Pack: DocTOC (chapter TOC), Multi Catalog (a combination or ¶, f, T and variable catalogue)
Quality Pack: Delete Empty Textlines (a source of hidden fonts!), Move New Marker to Sentence Begin, Replace Colours
Extended Pack: Import Variable Definitions (XLS/MDB), Insert Condition Tags, Traansfer Variable Definitions
Translation Pack: Change Index Sort Order, Conversion: FM to MIF / MIF to FM, Find Text Overflow

Among these there are free scripts. See

Author itl, Germany
Type Commercial, 445 EUR (1 licence for 1 module) to 885 EUR (1 license for all modules)
Platforms Windows. Requires the installation of the FrameScript.
User interface Top menu [i]-frame with various submenues. User dialogues and FM definition documents.
Documentation Help in submenu, the website with all descriptions.

Screenshot with menu items of the Systec Toolbox

Index tools

Purpose Provide in-text entry of index information and switch to standard FM index markers. This makes index maintenance (find, replace etc.) very easy.
Author Silicon Prairie Software
Type $10 for a single-user license, $100 for a site license
Platforms Windows
User interface Main menu Index Tools with few entries
Documentation PDF


Purpose Display the structure of a MIF file similar to a directory structure. Display the contents of the structural elements.
Author Graham Wideman
Type Freeware
Platforms Windows
User interface Program dialogue with two panes for structural view and contents view
Documentation HTML within downloaded file or on site.

Screenshot of the Mif Browser display with two panes: left a colapsible structure, right a detail view

More plug-ins

Check out the following links - or consult the Tool Search of Leximation. This database contains not only tools for FrameMaker, but also general utilities for Windows or Mac.
Another great list from Lim Sims (last update 2012) is available from Microtype.

Carmen Publishing: Rick Quatro developed a number of FrameScripts and ExtendScripts, such as TableCleaner, ImportSpecial, FindChangeFormatsBatch, PathChanger etc.

Cudspan: TemplateMapper is a tool that converts your legacy documents to match the formatting in new templates, Other plug-ins are not available for all FM-versions.

DITA-FMx is a set of plugins and structure applications that provide enhanced authoring and publishing of DITA XML files in FrameMaker.

Finalyser is the successor of the SQIDDS toolbox for FM≤8. It is an integrated collection of scripts and plugins to support the workflow of technical communication. There is for example a script to create thumbnail images with PhotoShop. The package TermCheck allows to check terminology against a UniTerm Light data base.

FrameScript is a high level, user-oriented, scripting (or macro) language designed to work with Adobe FrameMaker on Windows. It is the base for many tools and "tool boxes".

[i]-frame from itl is a comprehensive FrameScript collection that makes working in FrameMaker easier and offers complete support to the FrameMaker user for the creation of documents. Both routine documentation tasks and specialized requirements in the translation business are supported. Examples include document clean-up, quality assurance using check routines, development and maintenance of templates and variables, and improved creation of foreign-language documents.
The use of FrameScripts requires the FrameMaker plugin "FrameScript".

Other large packages from itl are:
To a German site [i]-flow – Process automation of documentation and translation processes across departments or even companies.
To a German site [i]-match – Authoring support with controlled terminology (language management system for the whole company).

Microtype: FrameMaker-to-Acrobat TimeSavers, Form Assistant etc. are the tools to create sophisticated PDF functions directly from FrameMaker source.
For FrameMaker up to version 8 Express Custimization of tool bars is avaialable. For FM-9 to 12 menu customisations are provided.

Mif2Go: This very versatile tool was created by Jeremy H. Griffith, the founder of Omni Systems, who passed away in 2014. The tools have been made Open Source:
Mif2Go creates various output formats: HTML, DITA, OmniHelp, Word RTF. It is very flexible!
OmniHelp (OH) is a free Open Source LGPL cross-platform, cross-browser tri-pane Help viewer.

Silicon Prairie Software: Alert Tool, Auto-Text, Character Tools, Color Tools, Cross-Reference Tools, Index Tools (normal, Professional), LEP (List of Effective Pages) Tools, Master Page Tools, Outline Tools, Paragraph Tools, Readability Tools, Table Tools, Variable Tools.

West Street Cunsulting: Tools supporting structured working in FM; a comprehensive Graphics utility Pod.


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