What exactly is a FrameMaker Template?

Let’s start with a few simple assumptions about FrameMaker.

FrameMaker is great for:

  • maintaining long documents
  • maintaining documents with a long lifecycle

FrameMaker is not great for

  • memos
  • marketing collateral
  • anything where formatting and design is more important than the content

And, importantly, FrameMaker is most efficient when you maintain your formatting in a separate template document.

That last bit about using the importance of a FrameMaker template is interesting, because there’s no official template file or file format inside of FrameMaker!

Framemaker Template, defined

A template stores formatting information so that it can be applied to one or more documents to ensure consistency.

Still, that’s a bit sterile, so here’s a piece of information that you can use right away to start getting your docs under control…

To apply the formats contained in a FrameMaker template to your document(s), use the File > Import > Formats command.

If you can easily import a format definition from one doc to another, it can be part of your template.

The inverse is also true: If you can’t easily import formatting information from one doc to another, it’s not part of your template and must be maintained separately.

screenshot-2016-10-05-10-58-23So a checklist of sorts, like what you see when you use File > Import > Formats is a great way to wrap your head around what you can define within a FrameMaker template.

The options are mostly self-explanatory, but the Page Layouts option should be labeled Master Pages, and the Document Properties option is a mish-mash of options, including view options, document and page numbering, and pretty much anything else without a home.

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