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Creation of extra dialogue in FrameMaker for Templates?

Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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As of now, FrameMaker still ships with a dialogue for creating standard templates. These templates are  somewhat dated and the dialogue can't be modified.- How difficult is it to create a an alternative template chooser? Which works like the existing one more or less? Perhaps made in Robohelp or "something"?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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Here is where the template browser files are located. They are actually view-only FrameMaker documents. Years ago, I customized these for a client, but I can't remember how I got them unlocked.

 

frameexpert_0-1679328440248.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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What version of FrameMaker are you using?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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FrameMaker 2022.  I believe I have all versions since version 4, actually

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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Is it not made using miml? I believe there was/is an interactive version of mif which can be programmed much like pdf. I played around with a good many years ago. But I have probably lost all documentation regarding this long time ago. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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The document is saved as MIF and there are a couple of settings to change in there to make it a view-only palette. I have to see if I can find my notes. In the meantime, I will send you an unlocked version that I found in my archives.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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I have described that in detail in the document https://www.daube.ch/docu/files/FM-palettes.pdf

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Thank you @K.Daube I shall have to read up on this. If I can figure out how it works, it might be an option for integrating my templates in a better way in FrameMaker

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Sorry, Bjørn, «I have described that in detail ...» is not sufficient information.

It turns out that for FM versions > 11 the files ($HOME\fminit\maker\tmpltbrw) can not be unlocked anymore with  ESC F l k

Although they are still FM-files (file signature <MakerFile 12.0> etc.) they probably have been 'locked' by a different sequence of settings. For example the 'open' MIF file got all settings at once. IMHO the critical setting is 

 

DviewOnlyWinPalette = Yes

 

The MIF documentation tells about this setting

In Windows versions, a palette floats outside the main application window and cannot be unlocked. To edit the palette, you need to reset the DViewOnlyWinPalette statement to No in the MIF file before opening it in FrameMaker

So we need a script to unlock the newer palettes...

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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I tried to create a script to unlock the palette, but it crashed FrameMaker. A workaround is to programmatically save the palette as MIF and then you can use a text editor to change the DViewOnlyWinPalette statement so that the document can be opened and edited.

 

Note that you must move the template files to a folder where you have write permission or else the script will fail with an error -42 (System error).

 

#target framemaker

var regex, doc;

regex = /tmpltbrw/;

doc = app.FirstOpenDoc;
while (doc.ObjectValid () === 1) {
    if (regex.test (doc.Name) === true) {
        saveToMif (doc, doc.Name + ".mif");
        break;
    }
    doc = doc.NextOpenDocInSession;
}

function saveToMif (doc, saveName) {	
    
    var params, returnParams, i;
    
    // Get the parameters to save it as MIF.
    params = GetSaveDefaultParams ();
    returnParams = new PropVals ();
    i = GetPropIndex (params, Constants.FS_FileType);
    params[i].propVal.ival = Constants.FV_SaveFmtInterchange;

    FA_errno = 0;
    // Save the document as MIF.
    doc.Save (saveName, params, returnParams);
    if (FA_errno === 0) {
		return saveName;
	}
	else {
		PrintSaveStatus (returnParams);
	}
}

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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After you save the palette documents as MIF, you can open the MIF file with a text editor and change the highlighted values below to No. Then the MIF file will open as an editable FrameMaker document.

 

image.png

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Rick, I came to the same conclusion.

If I try to change the settings prior to saving the MIF

 

oDoc.DocIsViewOnly = false;
oDoc.ViewOnlyWinPalette = false;  

 

then FM stalls when entering the first of these lines...

Edit

It turns out that all palettes in FM version < 12 can simply be unlocked with ESC F l k. All palettes of the later FM versions require the procedure with the MIF creation by script.

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