Common Misconceptions about Adobe FrameMaker

July 18, 2012

Working at GPI I have the honor of reviewing many different desktop publishing applications with a combination of various workflows. More often than not I come across customers who are nervous about moving their documentation to FrameMaker. So I ask myself why that is.

This blog will address common misconceptions people have about FrameMaker and why they just aren't true. A common concern I hear from my clients is "I heard that FrameMaker is hard to use, so I am nervous about moving from word". Well I am pleased to address this and tell anyone who is considering moving to FrameMaker that if used correctly FrameMaker is a great DTP application for many different types of users. Today FrameMaker has a profile defined interface determined from what role you play in the publishing process. The menu is custom to its end-user. Not to mention if you are writing large documents the amount of time you will save by opening it as a FrameMaker doc versus the amount of time it takes to open a lengthy Word document (I am sure at one point many of you have come across this problem)


FrameMaker is expensive?

Before you assume that the application is an expensive option for dtp you must address the following information. What is the total cost of ownership of the desktop publishing application you are using? Is there an increase in training for system set up? How does the application affect the productivity of your workers? More often than not you will notice that FrameMaker may be a cheaper solution than other DTP software.

Most people do not realize the short-comings to their current desktop publishing tools until about half way through their projects. This is when they realize their formats have become a mess and they are stuck at a standstill trying to fix the problems rather than being able to finish their work in a timely fashion. FrameMaker although more complex of an application than word has provided its customers with a set of great tools to increase efficiency, whether it be in collaboration with other programs such as RoboHelp and Adobe Acrobat or by using DITA XML to optimize translation.

For any prospective FrameMaker user I recommend you do your research. Adobe's Technical Communications dept. does a great job of informing/teaching users about their product through their many free seminars. I myself a seasoned Frame user, join many of these webinars to gather the most recent tips about DTP. The hosts are extremely knowledgeable and are always more than willing to answer any of your questions.

GPI's Multilingual Desktop Publishing Services

Globalization Partners International, a premiere translation agency provides many services with document translation and website translation that involve multilingual desktop publishing services. This list below highlights some of the more common products used in such projects:

You may also find some of our previous blogs on desktop publishing useful:

Please contact GPI at or at 866-272-5874 with your specific questions about Microsoft Word and your project goals. A complimentary Translation Quote for your project is also available upon request.

[Instructions and lists abstracted from Adobe Application Manuals. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Captivate, FrameMaker, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and RoboHelp are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © Adobe Systems Incorporated.]

Document Translation
Adobe Tech Comm Suite, Adobe, FrameMaker

Deploying a Multilingual Website with EPiServer (Part 2)FrameMaker 11 Functionality


  • Tim MurrayOn Jul 24, Tim Murray said:
    Many of those who say FrameMaker is harder to use than Word don't really know Word either. It's easy to see: Their Word docs are composed entirely of the Normal style with manual formatting applied throughout.
  • ChrisOn Jul 28, Chris said:
    I still don't understand why Adobe haven't produced a Mac OS X version...

    I have a G5 at home that I nurse along purely to avoid having to choose between FM on Windoze or Word 20xx on Mac.

    You'd think given the resurgence in Mac ownership there'd be an valid commercial argument for bringing FM back to OS X...
  • Dieter GustOn Jul 31, Dieter Gust said:
    It all depends on use cases. For creating documents having a real life cycle (not disposable documents like letter or e-mails) FrameMaker is by far the product that is easiest to use and Word ist the most complex tool which misleads the user to a completely unsystematic way of working. Seen from the point of document use cases Word is a dangerous designer drug.
  • Tom AldousOn Aug 02, Tom Aldous said:
    It's time to look at FM11. We are all in with new XML and HTML 5 (TCS 4) support.
  • Ashley PangbornOn Aug 08, Ashley Pangborn said:
    Hello Everyone, Thank you for all of the comments and insight I have received for this blog. Since this seems to be a very popular topic I have decided to explore the subject further with a sequel. Please let me know if there are any key points you would like to see me address. Also if you would like to see what some other readers had to say, you can view the trending discussion on the Adobe Tech Comm professionals group on linkedin :
  • RancheroOn Sep 17, Ranchero said:
    Oh where to begin? No Mac version of FM 11. Even if I wanted to go out and buy a new Windows computer or set up Bootcamp, it is another $999 for an *upgrade* from 7.1. No thanks. I'll stick with InDesign and various plugins that more or less replicate FM at this point. Frankly I was surprised that FM is still alive.