Application Definition File Tips

The default structure application file is in FrameMaker 7.x and in FrameMaker+SGML (6.0 and previous versions). Following are several suggestions for working with application definition files:

Multiple Application Definition Files

Instead of defining all applications in the default application definition file, developers who work on multiple applications may define them in different files. To create a new application definition file, simply save the default file under a new name. Place the new file in the same directory as other application files for the project. You need not name the file or For example, you might use as the file name for an application definition file used solely for working with DocBook. On Windows platforms, you may wish to register an extension such as .app for use with application definition files.


Place comments in the application definition files to explain any non-obvious specifications. While the default application definition file that comes with FrameMaker does not have a comment element, you can place comments in flows other than the main body flow. Comments can appear in background frames on a master page or in additional body page flows. Alternatively, instead of the original file, you can use one that does provide a comment element (see An Improved Template for Application Definition Files below).


FrameMaker user variables can be defined for strings such as pathnames that are used repeatedly in an application definition file. To indicate where variables are used, you may wish to define a character format for them. For instance, a character format called Variable might set all properties except color to As Is and set color to Red. A variable called Directory might be defined to be <Variable>directory/directory/directory/. Uses of Directory would then appear in red in the application definition file and hence be distinguished from surrounding text.

An Improved Template for Application Definition Files

Text Structure Consulting, Inc., offers revised templates for application definition files starting with FrameMaker 7.0. These templates differ from those that come with FrameMaker in the following ways:

The table below provides links for downloading application definition files equivalent to the one shipped with the indicated versions of FrameMaker. Each file is accompanied by its EDD. The same EDD supports FrameMaker 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2 versions of the template with conditional text distinguishing material specific to a particular 7.x version of FrameMaker

FrameMaker 10Version FM10TSC1.3October 5, 2011Structapps10.ZIP
FrameMaker 9Version FM9TSC1.2October 4, 2011Structapps9.ZIP
FrameMaker 8Version FM8TSC1.1September 22, 2008Structapps8.ZIP
FrameMaker 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2Version FM7.0TSC4.01
Version FM7.1TSC2.01
Version FM7.2TSC1.01
March 16, 2006