Known limits and special properties
In most programs the numbers of objects to be handled are limited. The same is true for FrameMaker. Special properties (defaults) are often hard coded … The found restrictive value may have been present since the beginnings, although I have discovered them only in late FM versions.
Readers of this page are kindly invited to provide additional information or corrections to the author.
|Property||Min / max value||FM version||Source|
|Adding pages||A maximum of 300 can be added at once||fmres.dll|
|Automatic save||Time for automatic save can be 1 … 180 minutes||fmres.dll|
|Book: number of files||no limit||see remark|
|Border around imported graphic||1/12" = 2.12 mm
This can be modified by some plug-ins
|Button matrix||Number of rows or columns can be 1 … 100||fmres.dll|
|Case insensitivity of names||Marker type||experience|
|Case sensitivity of names||Paragraph format, character format, colour, cross reference format, table style, table ruling style, user variable…||experience|
|Character formats in catalogue||
Maximum length of name: 254 chars
|Character mapping||Character mapping rule can have value from 0 … 255||fmres.dll|
|Commands for all FM Api Clients||2017 (previously, the limit was 250)||7.0P578|
|Conditional tab||Names are URL encoded in xml, may be up to 256 characters. Special characters, such as blanks, require 3 positions (%20).||8.x||f.i.t. 2007|
|Dictionary, entry length (custom.dct, site.dct)||
31 chars including hyphenation dashes. There is no chance to define
hyphenation or spelling of the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
(34 chars) or Überwachungsbedürftigkeit automatically
by "learn". You need to delete some of the hyphenation points
in the user/site or document dictionary. Special codes (e.g.
|63 chars including hyphenation dashes since FM 8. The coding of the dictionary now is UTF-8.||8.x|
Number of entries < 2'000 words.
With FM_9 the dictionary business has been changed completely. The dictionaries seem to be shared with other Adobe applications. See Adobe blog
|Document objects||The internal context table is a memory construct that holds many
types of FrameMaker document objects. The following table illustrates
the different entries and their requirements.
element: 2 entries; variable: 2 entries; cross-reference: 2 entries; marker (any type): 1 entry; table: 1 entry; anchored frame: 1 entry; hidden conditional text: 1 entry per block. In FrameMaker 5.5, maximum number of entries is 2^24 (16 777 216)
|Adobe support DB|
|dpi value||For imported images the dpi value must be 72 … ???||fmres.dll|
|Elements (structure)||8 millions||5.5||Adobe|
|Equation (formula)||Maximum length of string constant: 61 characters. See note formula strings below.||7.2||experience|
|File path||up to 255 characters according to OS
displayed in object properties dialogue: at most 49
|experience, see note|
|Font offset||Offset values (for combined fonts) must be between -1000% and 1000%.||fmres.dll|
|Font size||2 pt … 400 pt (0.7 … 141 mm)||FM dialogue|
|Font spread||1% … 1000%||fmres.dll|
|Font stretch||10% … 1000%||fmres.dll|
|Half tone screen||Screen frequency can be 5… 500 lines/inch; screen angle (of course) can be 0 … 360°||fmres.dll|
|Hot spot in graphic||URL lenght: 1011 single byte UTF characters or 505 double byte UTF characters
Tool tip length 1023 single byte UTF characters or 511 double byte UTF characters
|Line spacing||-4000 pt … 4000pt (-1411 … 1411 mm))||7.2||fmres.dll|
|Line width||0.015 pt … 360 pt (0.005 … 127 mm)||FM dialogue|
|Maker.ini||Max length of line processed: 255 chars||3.0||f.i.t 3 - see remark|
|Marker text||255 characters
\ acts as an escape character (attention in hypertext markers with windows-paths!). See also note Markers
|Master page||100 including Right/Left
More can be defined by importing formats (!)
|6.0, 7.0||FM help|
|Object size||Picture or object size after import with scaling: 0.125 … 3600 pt (0.04 … 1270 mm)||fmres.dll|
1 x 1" (25.4 × 25.4 mm) … 216 x 216" (548 × 548 mm)
This restriction can only be overcome with reduction of the printer resolution. See Creating a banner with FM and Acrobat. This is not a restriction in Acrobat!
|Paragraph formats in catalogue||Maximum length of name: 254 chars
Maximum number of entries: ???
Maximum value: 65536 (x10000). Larger values (e.g. set by <n=xxxx) are
presented as mod(value, 65536).
|The label of the numbering sequence (eg. the A in A:<n+>) may be any printable character from the (lower) ASCII set. I have tested these characters: $ ; : _ + , . | ~ 7 ^ " ` blank
Hence there are 96 possible numbering sequences (including that with no label)
|Rubi size value||1 … 1000% (and max. font size applies)||fmres.dll|
|Runaround gap||Gap can be 0 … 432 pt (0 … 152.4 mm)||fmres.dll|
|Running Headers/Footers||Unitl FM-7: 4; starting with FM-7.2: 12; starting with FM-11: 18:||11||Adobe|
|Recent file list||The maximum seems to be some 32767||9||Adobe|
|Shading (tint)||The minimum tint recognisable depends on the colour depth of the monitor: a system set to display 256 colors cannot display tints below 16% accurately||-||FM-12 Help|
Resultant margin between the enclosed object (image, formula) and the skeleton of the frame: 1pt = 0.353mm.
Smart catalogs are are lists of paragraph or character styles, elements etc. issued by the short cuts F9, F8, CTRL+1 etc.
|Table sort order||Seems to depend on Windows locale||experience|
Maximum width of table or column: 40"=1016 mm = ;
|Text flow||Name of a text flow can be very long. I have tested with 64 characters. However in the status line the name may be truncated||9.0||experience|
|Text frame||Height minimum: 1/8" (9 pt, 3.175 mm); maximum 216" (15552 pt, 548 mm)||Adobe support DB|
|Undo History||The maximum size is 32767 (value 0 has same effect)||11||Adobe|
|User String object||FP_UserString can contain up to 1038 bytes of string data. The main problem is sharing the strings between plug ins.||www.zenserve.co.uk|
Until FM 7.2: up to 255 characters including meta-notations (such as
See important note Variables below.
|Zoom factor||Zoom factors can be set between 25 and 1600%||dialogue|
FrameMaker does not limit the number of files you can place in a generated book. Adobe has tested placing several hundred files in a book without consequence. Though you can create a book of this size, generating or updating the book requires enough memory and disk space to open and save every file.[Adobe Support DB]
The company itl in Munich arranged FrameMaker Information Days from 1992 until 2006. At the 3rd event 1995 a collection of questions and answers concerning FrameMaker on Windows (3.1) was presented. The source of information was Frame Technolgy's Frame News etc. The collection was distributed by itl as FrameMaker Help (FrameViewer format).
The object property dialogue does not display the full path of an imported object, if the path name is too long. The middle part is replaced by an ellipsis:
G:\VeryLongFilenames\Level02\...\TheImage.png E:\VeryLongFilenames\L...03\Level04\TheImage.png ..\..\Samples\Glossary...s\Graphics\TheImage.png
Relative paths are used only up to a certain level of directories. I have
not yet found out what this level is. In the above examples the path for
the document containing the image is
Find out the full path name by 're-importing' - just opening the import dialogue for the selected image. In the Import dialogue expand the Look in drop down list to see the full directory hierarchy.
If you have the extended Send to function implemented in Windows, you may get the full path with the Send To Clipboard function on the selected file:
If you don't find this useful tool anymore on the MS-site, here is a copy
Lynne A. Price reported the possibility for an Index Marker to be much longer than 255 character. My findings are these:
- A MIF file set up with an index marker holding 1290 characters will display 1024 characters in the Marker dialogue. Leaving the dialogue by just closing it will preserve these 1024 characters. But these 1024 characters are interspersed with semicolons to form multiple index entries.
- Trying to Edit Marker will issue an error message (Marker text is too long. Marker text is limited to 255 characters).
- Generating an index from the overly long marker will create multiple index entries (due to the semicolons) with a maximum length of a 248 characters.
When defining variables in MIF, the length of the contents is practically unlimited (Arnis Gubins has tested up to 2510).
However, as soon as you use the GUI with dialogue Special > Variable… for that variable (even just looking at it), the content will be truncated to 255 (up to FM-7.2) or 1022/1023 (starting with FM-8) characters.
To save characters use
</> as replacement for
<Default ¶ Font> .
Valid characters in variable contents
|In MIF a blank must follow this code!||In Dialogue|
|Meaning||Display after import||Insert as||Count|
|\x20 … \xfe||Displayable characters||blank ! " # $ % & etc.
(some may not be displayed correctly, because they are not in all fonts)
|similar or directly via keyboard||1|
|\x04||Optional hyphen||blank, functional||\x04||1|
|\x05||Suppress hyphenation||blank, functional||\x05||1|
|\x0a||Paragraph end||blank, no function|
|\x0b||Flow end||blank, no function|
|\x11||Non breaking space||\§ (§ depicts a blank)||\blank||2|
|\x15||Non breaking hyphen||\+||\+||2|
A table is placed in the same text column as the table anchor is. The table is aligned at a different boundary if it is to wide for the current text column:
- If the table is to wide for the current text column, but the overhang (table width - text column width) is smaller than 1/6" the table is left as is.
- If the table is wider than text column width + 1/6" a second (and third etc.) text column is taken.
- If this also is not sufficient the side head area is taken into consideration also.
- If the table is wider than the text frame it projects over the text frame and even over the paper area (where it is cut off).