Modified dialogues for FrameMaker 7
The Adobe end-user licence agreement states under "Copyright":
Except for font software converted to other formats as permitted in the "Use of the Software" section, you agree not to modify, adapt or translate the Software except as may be expressly permitted under the European Directive on the Legal Protection of Computer Programs (14 May 1991)
In my humble opinion the following is a description to 'make the program fit for its task' and not a violation of copy right. Anyway, keep the original software in your records. You will need it in case of problems to be re-established to be able to get support from Adobe.
The most annoying dialogue which I fixed 2002 was the Table Column Resize dialogue. Other people, in particular Stefan Gentz from tracom.de have modified many dialogues for the German version of FrameMaker. Stefan's work gave me the hints what to do for my own requirements.
Only "recently" added dialogues (such as the book management) in FrameMaker benefit from larger displays. Most dialogues provide very limited input fields for names of character styles, paragraph styles end the like. The small fields may be sufficient for english names, but not for german or french useful names. Many attempts were made in the past to convince Adobe about this requirement, but to no effect so far.
Since the Windows 95 times resources (icons, pictures, text, dialogues) are
kept separate from the programming code. This not only gives room for easier
translation but also for other modifications of the dialogues without touching
the executable code. All relevant dialogues in FrameMaker are located in the
fmdlg.dll. Messages are located in
Of course, a modified dialogue resource does not become resizeable if this
feature is not handled by the program code.
The most annoying dialogue which I fixed 2002 was the Table Column Resize dialogue. Other people, in particular Stefan Gentz from tracom.de have modified many dialogues for the German version of FrameMaker. Stefan's work gave me the hints what to do for my own requirements:
- Leave out the drop down lists which is redundant to the selection tabs in document numbering, paragraph designer and table designer. This drop down list is a residuum from the Unix interface.
- Provide more room for lengthy names of fonts, styles, table names, colours, cross references etc.
- Extend other small fields.
- I have not modified the dialogues concerning the structued interface, only those of the unstructured interface. Hence no long element names etc. are supported by this modification.
|Standard dialogue||Modified dialogue|
Modifications done in this dialogue (an on most other modified dialogues):
- Redundant drop down list removed
- Space for long style names
- Space for long font names
- All buttons at the bottom
- Some of the entry fileds and drop down lists may seem to be too wide for their purpose, but I like it neat and aligned.
Locate the resource DLL
and check its version (right click to get the context menu for file properties).
If your values are different, be prepared to re-install the original dll!
FrameMaker may not work any more after the change.
Attention: If the browser starts to display the binary file, stop transmission and use the context menu item "Save Target as ...".
|FrameMaker version||dll version||dll size||modified file|
|7.1 English international (7.1p116)||126.96.36.199||356'352 bytes||fmdlg.dll.71en_mod|
7.2 English international (7.2b128, b144 and p158)
2007-05-11: dialogues for markers and user variables now have more room, some other minor changes to the 2005-10 version.
Note: All software from D+DD is Donationware - if you find it helpful for your work, think about supporting also my work.
Note: Although the original dlls version 7.1 and 7.2 are of same size, they are slightly different: a new palette for the undo history was introduced in version 7.2.
Follow this procedure to install the modified dll:
- Close FrameMaker, if necessary.
fmdlg.dll.ori(for original) - do not delete this file!
- Copy the downloaded
$HOME/fminitand rename it to
- Start FrameMaker and check the modified dialogues.
- If FrameMaker gets any problem, resort to the original DLL.
- Keep in mind that a FrameMaker update will install an Adobe original module and you may have the same old dialogues.
- Keep a record of changes to FrameMaker, for example, in a file
(for example, D+DD keeps a record of all sw-installations and changes in
fmdlg.dll contains the following text in the Help
> About panel: