Understanding FrameMaker’s maker.ini file


Note: This post was updated on October 16, 2016 by Stefan Gentz.

The maker.ini file is a simple text file with configuration settings which FrameMaker checks at every launch. There are at least two maker.ini files: in the installed location as well as in the User Account Preferences. You can edit either based upon your requirements.

At Installed Location

C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\AdobeFrameMaker10\maker.ini

At User Account

Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Adobe\FrameMaker\version

Windows Vista, Windows 7:
C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\FrameMaker\version

Before you start

Being a text file in true nature, you can open and edit it on any text editor.

Before you change anything in the file:

  • Keep a back-up of the maker.ini file, in case, you want to revert back to original state.

  • Ensure you have administrator privileges to modify the file.

  • Ensure FrameMaker is not running while editing the maker.ini.

One first glance you would notice that the maker.ini itself has several sections, each governing a specific feature in FrameMaker. You can notice entries that are commented starting with semi-colon (;). Most of the entries can be customized and modified by toggling their values between on/off. Let’s understand and try to edit them to see the impact.

Sample Customizations

1) FrameMaker

ProductInterface=Structured FrameMaker
It is always stored in user account mode location of maker.ini. It controls UI for FrameMaker as structured or unstructured.

Used for UI and dictionary language and is based on Installation Language for the product.

2) Preferences

Prompts a dialog on Closing FrameMaker.

Creates project backup and updates it on every save.

AutoSave=Off 5
Automatically saves the opened book/document, periodically at the specified time interval.

3) Alert Prompts

Documents contains missing graphics.

Prompts for Unresolved Cross References because of marker for source is deleted/modified/moved/being used by someone.

For FrameMaker source file created in previous version of product.

Prompts for unavailable fonts on machine w.r.t. fonts used in the FrameMaker source file.

4) Auto Spell Check

By default checks for spelling for inserted text and prompts for corrections.

Size of word list for possible corrections in Spell Check.

5) Thermometers

Default thermometer color
Default thermometer color

ThermoDoneColor=255, 0, 255
ThermoRemainingColor=192, 192, 192

The above values modify the color for FrameMaker printing progress dialog box, which shows pink (by default). You can change the color for completed and remaining slides.

I have customized the value to change the color from Pink to Purple:

Changed thermometer color
Changed thermometer color


  • FrameMaker reads the maker file from installed directory.

  • If you want to make changes globally for all users using FrameMaker on a particular machine, modify the installed directory maker.ini, but if you want to restrict changes to a specific user only, then you should make those changes in maker.ini file only for that user account.

  • Working with customized FDK plug-ins and interface also requires an entry to be substituted for the custom panel/window inside the maker.ini.

Submitted by: Anjaneai Srivastava, Tech Support Consultant

FrameMaker, Products

Posted on 10-31-2012


  • By Stefan - 1:30 PM on July 17, 2017   Reply

    Anyone out there who can tell how to change the UI Language (FM 2017) from Language=USEnglish to =German. It does not seem to be enough just to change the maker.ini. There’s no option in the tool preferences either. Cheers!

  • By Sarah - 1:39 PM on October 7, 2013   Reply

    Should the two versions of the ini file be identical? The one in my user account is much shorter than the one in my installed location. We are having some issues with FM, and I wonder if it has to do with the two different versions of the ini file?

    • By Narta - 12:31 AM on March 10, 2016   Reply

      Was Sarah’s question ever answered? I have the very same question and situation and cannot divine the answer.

  • By Markus Wiedenmaier - 3:47 PM on October 31, 2012   Reply

    Thanks! Good start! If there is any documentation of all(!) maker.ini settings that are possible. Invisible and so unknown settings like HyphenateNonRomanFonts=On/Off included?

    • By Anjaneai - 2:08 AM on November 1, 2012   Reply

      Your welcome Markus! We currently do not have all values documented, but I most of the invisible values are self explanatory by the name, if you observe closely by setting their value between on/off they should yield your expected result on Next FrameMaker launch.

      • By Markus Wiedenmaier - 9:51 AM on November 10, 2012   Reply

        thanks for providing that link. I didn’t talk about the values, I talked of possible settings, that are not available in the installed ini file, like HyphanateNonRomanFonts. This setting is available since FM10 and it is necessary if you are using global fonts like Arial Unicode MS or FM’s combined fonts. So it’s a very important feature for some customers. Nobody knows about this feature (and perhaps others) because it’s not documented and not available in the maker.ini by default. So please make all of these invisible features visible in some way at least in the maker.ini file and better in your documentation.

    • By Anjaneai - 1:16 PM on November 5, 2012   Reply

      Hi Markus, please refer to this article — http://help.adobe.com/en_US/framemaker/ini/framemaker_11_ini_reference.pdf , Let me know if you need any other help.


Join the discussion