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Adobe FrameMaker 9: The Application Bar

FrameMaker had the same look and feel for a hundred years, or at least it seemed that way to me. As I made the transition to FrameMaker 9, most of my attention was focused on the new interface. Initially, I just thought it was weird. I mean, it’s the same old FrameMaker, with the same menus and functions, and funky Esc key shortcuts, but now it has the look and feel of Adobe’s InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Will the new interface pave the way for more productive workflow? It certainly has for me.

Let’s start with the Application Bar, which appears at the top right of the FrameMaker 9 window, right after the Help menu. It consists of four options:

  1. UI Visibility. This toggle simply hides and shows the various toolbars, panels and pods, removing the workspace clutter. I use it when I want to show my work to a client on my computer, without all the distractions.
  2. Arrange Documents. This button greatly simplifies the display of multiple open documents. I’m personally thrilled to think that I may never have to stop a class again to explain the difference between Tile Vertically and Tile Horizontally. A picture really is worth a thousand words!
  3. Screen Mode. You now have three views of your document: Standard Screen Mode, Full Screen with Menu Bar and then the very dangerous, Full Screen Mode. Try it. At first, Full Screen Mode seems great. Talk about removing the clutter! Now, restore the menus, toolbars, pods and panels.
    How’s that going for you?
    I found three ways out of Full Screen Mode, none of which appeared anywhere in the FrameMaker 9 Help files: close the program and restart, press ESC + SM + s, or right-click the gray area to the right of your page and choose Toggle Screen Mode. Hey Adobe, did you forget something?
  4. Workspace Switcher. Choosing the best workspace for my specific workflow is a feature I’ve long relied on in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Now we can all pick the best panel/pod arrangements for your FrameMaker workflows from this drop-down menu.

With the exception of an easy, intuitive way out of the Full Screen Mode view, it’s all good stuff.

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  1. Thank you for this tip! Here it is 2014, and I’ve used FrameMaker for 21 years, yet today I was baffled when I got into full screen mode and couldn’t get out of it! The ESC+SM+s keyboard shortcut did the trick! 🙂 ChristyG