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Enhanced Tool Bar (ETB) for FrameMaker 13

Note: The official (marketing-) product name for FM version 13 is FrameMaker 2015. However, program internally 13 is used extensively.

See also: Deutsche version; English version for FM-7.2/8, FM-9…11, FM-12, FM-13, FM-14/15


According to the licensing terms of Adobe, the modification of dlls may invalidate your licence.

Hence all installation programs which exchange a dll by a modified one request your confirmation.

What is it all about?

Although FM-12 introduced coloured and/or large tool bar buttons, there is still room for improvement of the UI:

What's about FM updates?
Tool Bars
   Vertival Tool Bar
Special enhancements to FM:
   Context menu "Insert special symbols"
   Coloured cursors and tab indicators
   Utility TextHelper
Download and installation

[To top/bottom of page]What's about FM updates?

The Enhanced Tool Bar was developed for FM An update of FM may require an updated version of ETB. Look at Download and installation for an update of ETB.

  1. Uninstall ETB before you update FM (use button Remove ETB of the installation program) – FM updating processes may not work with installed ETB.
  2. When updating or re-installing FM, keep the preferences.
  3. Update FM.
  4. Install ETB again.

[To top/bottom of page] Tool Bars

ETB supports all variants of the icon appearance: regular/large, coloured/grey. Compared to earlier versions of ETB some icons images have been changed to correspond to standard icons in FM-13.

Additional tool bars in ETB group buttons for paragraphs, characters and tables somewhat different than in the standard arrangement. This is to cope with additional functions:

ETB quick access ws

Buttons for help, open, copy are left out, because the keyboard short cuts for these are so common among applications that nobody will use buttons for these functions. The save button provides information about the document status.

ETB quick access lt

FM10 quick access tool bar laptop
Only hard to acces items left here to save space.

ETB paragraph bar

Paragraph catalogue, copy ¶ format , repeat last ¶ command, paragraph format drop down list, text alignment menu, tabulation menu, paragraph actions.

ETB character bar

Character catalogue, copy ƒ format, repeat last ƒ command, character format drop down list, convert text to lower case, mixed case, upper case;
insert special characters

ETB tables bar

Standard table commands +
Added at left: insert table; table catalog
Added at right: copy column width

ETB object properties
Standard object properties commands +
Added Pick up Object properties

ETB display

Display body pages, master pages, reference pages
display in edting view, printing view
jump back, jump next,
scroll to previous screen, scroll to next screen.

ETB extra

Find/replace, find next
Spell checking
Equations palette, unwrap equation/frame, shrink wrap equation/frame
Insert anchored frame, insert footnote
Copy conditional text settings, show/hide condition indicators.
Invoke vertical toolbar

Tool tips for all Tool Bars show keyboard shortcuts where applicable.

[To top/bottom of page] Vertical Tool Bar

With ETB the vertical Tool Bar is back. It is very convenient to be placed on the margin area of a document thus saving mouse miles.
The upper part of the tool bar now show more useful buttons than those of the traditional vertical tool bar. Since no tool tips are available on this standard FM palette, you may need to look at the documentation or the image below:

Vertical toolbar with description of the buttons

[To top/bottom of page] Workspaces

Threee additional work spaces are defined:

You know that work spaces can be configured by the user - do so alos with the ETB work spaces (add/remove tool bars, add/remove pods, iconise pods...)

[To top/bottom of page] Context menu "Insert special symbols"

The standard button for inserting special symbols has been replaced by a script to be able to insert also Unicode characters. You get the benefit to be able to modify the symbol table in this script.

context menu for special symbols

[To top/bottom of page] Coloured cursors and tab indicators

Optionally coloured (magenta) cursors and TAB indicators can be installed to make them better visible.

coloured cursor in FM-8

[To top/bottom of page] Utilility TextHelper

After copying or cutting text to the clipboards this utility may help to get rid of unwanted features. Except for the two last functions it works for all Windows applications.

Icon Hotkey Function

Icon of utility TextHelper

This is in
system tray


Paste the clipboard contents without formatting information, that is, just plain text (including line breaks).
This functions is handy to copy from other applications, including web pages, but also within FrameMaker.
Windows+space Remove sequences of spaces to one before pasting the text (without formatting information).
Windows+u Change \ to / before pasting the text (without formatting information)Very useful to convert Windows paths to URL notation.
Windows+y Scroll both doc windows 1 page DOWN
Windows+x Scroll both doc windows 1 page Up

The latter two commands work only correct, if there are only two documents windows open (probably arranged side by side). No book window must exist either.

[To top/bottom of page] Documents

ETB provide PDF documents, which are not available in FM (FM help may be online only). For curious people even some still valid documents are provided.

Title in menu Description (partly form the document)
Local User guide PDF and CHM with the same content as the online Help system. The chm file is accessed only if no Internet connection is available for the online help.
FrameMaker commands This is a complete list of the commands available in FrameMaker. It has been generated with a script from itl. It lists the commands with their name, menu label, short cut and hexadecimal function code.
Templates, Samples & Clipart Read-only FM file with hyperlinks to the various sample files and clip art files
Clip art for diagrams (scales, grids) are added.
MIF Reference MIF (Maker Interchange Format) is a group of ASCII statements that create an easily parsed, readable text file of all the text, graphics, formatting, and layout constructs that FrameMaker understands. Because MIF is an alternative representation of a FrameMaker document, it allows FrameMaker and other applications to exchange information while preserving graphics, document content, and format.
MML Reference FrameMaker includes support for a markup language called MML (Maker Markup Language). You can use any standard text editor to create an MML file. Later, you can open the MML file as a FrameMaker document or import it into a FrameMaker template. In a department where different people are responsible for writing and formatting documents, writers can use MML statements to mark up manuals in progress; at the same time, graphic designers can create the formatting specifications in FrameMaker templates.
Customizing FrameMaker ≥12 This manual describes how to customize FrameMaker by changing settings in initialization files and creating custom menu configurations and tool bars. Based on the FM-7 manual from Adobe and various other sources.

[To top/bottom of page] Download and installation

  1. You may wish to read the documentation (1.5 MB) before you decide about the installation.
  2. Close FrameMaker. if necessary.
  3. If you have ETB already installed and want to update with a newer version:
    • Run the installation program from the shortcut in the Start Menu
    • Use Remove ETB to de-install it from FrameMaker
  4. Download the appropriate ETB installation file
    Note: the full FM-version is only relevant for the installation of the opional GUI enhancements (replacement of DLLs)
  5. FM version Date Version Installation file Latest changes
    2015-06-03 6.0 Inst-FM13-ETB-en.zip
    • First issue based on ETB-12
    • Bug in FM- the vertical tool bar can not be accessed via menu, only via the tool bar button.
    • Menu bug still exists; Documentation updated: Customising FrameMaker 12 …, MIF Reference for FM-13
    • Menu bug corrected in FM. New User Guide pdf
    • ETB user guide: Clarifications concerning utility TextHelper
    • Installation now works also in x-32 systems (before only in x-64 systems)2
    • Coloured cursors/tab-icons added for
    • etb-Diagrams.fm updated
    2017-10-31 7.2
    • Adaptation to last FM-release
    • Flyout "Insert special symbol" replaced by script.
    • Toolbar object-align: buttons "nudge object" (large arrows) replaced by button which provides information abut the method using the keyboard.
      7.3, 7.4
    • Not published
    2018-03-05 7.5
    • Installation corrected for x64 systems.
    • New name for installtion file (…ETB… rather than …toolbars…).
    2019-09-25 8.0
    • Additional short cuts for Previous/Next View (Esc ← / Esc →) 'analogous' to Acrobat.
    • Identification of FM by menu label. Sub menu lists installation data
      FM identification by menu item Daten zur FM installation
    2020-01-20 9.0
    • Ancillary scripts combined into ETBextras.jsx
    • ETB menu re-arranged an placed in FM-ident menu (circled in above image)

    Note: FM-help (PDF, chm) and additional documentation may not be available from Adobe for the first issue - hence document content may be for the previous FM version. ETB-13 will be updated as soon as the documents are available.

  6. Expand the downloaded ZIP to the Desktop. You should get only two items: file PrepInstall-etb-en.exe and directory InstallETB
  7. Execute PrepInstall-etb-en.exe . The pPicture show the installation programs for ETB-13.
    Pre-installaion dialgue for ETB

    To release some Windows burden from the user, a first step collects necessary information.

    And to avoid too much trouble with the User Access Control the installation files are put into the User Area/D+DD.

    Then Continue Installation.

    Installation program

    File structure set up in %appdata%\D+DD\FM13-toolbars-en\


  8. Check the box if you want to also install coloured cursors and tab icons together with the Enahnced Tool Bars
  9. Use Install ETB to install the ETB functionality.
  10. After a short time a message box indicates successfull installation (see first note below).


What is installed on your computer ?

%APPDATA% is the symbolic name for the User area. The real path name depends on the OS.
$HOME is the installation directory of FrameMaker.

[To top/bottom of page] Uninstallation

If you want to get rid of the enhancement and go back to the original FM installation:

  1. Start the installation with the shortcut in the Start Menu and click Remove ETB .
  2. All files of this installation will be removed (tool bars, work spaces, icons, config files, clip art, added. documentation).
  3. FrameMaker 13 will copy the original tool bars into the user area at its next start.
  4. Since this is not a Windows un-installation, you must delete the installation directory and the short cut manually to get rid of all items. On the other hand this allows to install the Enhanced Tool Bar again later.
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 URL:  Created: 2015-06-03  Updated:
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