Generating PDF from FrameMaker

We ship Adobe PDF versions of all our books. This Web page describes how to generate a PDF version of your FrameMaker book.

Note: Before performing the following procedures, be sure you have Adobe Acrobat Distiller 3.0 or higher on your computer. (When IS first sets up your computer, they usually install only the Acrobat Reader, not the Distiller.) You can install Acrobat Distiller from the FrameMaker 5.5 CD.

Generating the PDF file is a four-step process:

  1. Update the FrameMaker TOC and Index
  2. Create the PostScript File
  3. Use the Distiller to Create the PDF File
  4. Test the PDF File

1. Update the FrameMaker TOC and Index

The following procedure ensures that your TOC and index are accurate and that the Bookmarks tab of your PDF document reflects the organization of the document correctly (no duplicate bookmarks; Title and Contents bookmarks appear in the display).

  1. In FrameMaker, open the book file and choose File > Generate/Update to update the page numbers and links for the TOC and index.

  2. Open the FrameMaker TOC file and remove the bookmark information as follows:
    1. Choose File > Print.
    2. Click Acrobat Setup.
    3. In the Acrobat Setup dialog box, double-click each entry in the Include Paragraphs pane until all have been transferred to the Don't Include pane except for the toc title 2 entry (which creates the Contents bookmark on the Bookmarks tab of the PDF document). If toc title 2 is in the Don't Include pane, double-click the entry there to transfer it to the Include Paragraphs pane.

      Note: You might have to do the same thing for Title if that doesn't appear in your list of items that you select when organizing your bookmarks later on in this procedure.

    4. Click Set.
    5. Select the Print Only to File box.
    6. Click Print.
    7. Choose File > Save.
    8. Choose File > Close.

2. Create the PostScript File

This procedure creates the PostScript file that we use to generate the PDF. Note that there is an optional step (10) that enables you to include a watermark on each page to indicate that the PDF document is a draft version.

Note: This is not the PostScript file we send to the print vendor. It is an interim file only. To create a PostScript file for a print vendor, see Make PostScript.

  1. With the FrameMaker book file open, choose File > Print.
  2. In the Print Files in Book dialog box, click the Print... button. The Print Book Dialog box appears.
  3. In the Print Book dialog box, select the Print to file: box and then specify the pathname to which the PostScript file should be written. For performance reasons, specify a pathname on your local drive (for example c:\

  4. If there is a check mark in the Spot Color as Black/White box, clear that box by clicking the check mark.
  5. Click Setup.
  6. In the Name: field of the Print Setup dialog box, select the BRL-DC-2 PostScript printer (Type: HP LaserJet 5Si/5Si MX PS). If you use a different printer, be sure it is a PostScript printer of the same type.
  7. Click the Properties button.
  8. In the Page Setup tab, be sure the options are specified as follows:

  9. Do one of the following:

  10. (For draft documents only) Do the following to insert the word "Draft" as a watermark on each page of the PDF document:
  11. Click the Advanced tab and then do the following:

  12. Click OK in the Print Setup dialog box.
  13. In the Print Book dialog box, click the Acrobat Setup... button.
  14. In the Acrobat Setup dialog box, specify the settings as shown in the following figure:

    Be sure you include the following the entries in the Include Paragraphs pane:

    Use the Bookmark Level arrow buttons to indent and align the entries in the pane to clearly show a consistent hierarchy.

    Note: Do not select the Include Paragraph Tags in Bookmark Text option.

  15. Click Set, then click Print.

3. Use the Distiller to Create the PDF File

This procedure creates the PDF file from the PostScript file. Be sure the Acrobat Distiller is installed on your system.

  1. Start Acrobat Distiller. (You can just double-click the .ps file.)

  2. Choose Distiller > Job Options....
  3. Click the Compression tab.
  4. Clear all check boxes that are selected for Downsampling.
  5. Click the Font Embedding tab.

  6. Select the Embed All Fonts check box.

  7. Clear the Subset fonts below box.

  8. Click OK.
  9. Choose File > Open.
  10. In the Acrobat Distiller - Open PostScript File dialog box, select the PostScript file that FrameMaker created and then click Open.
  11. In the Filename: box, specify a directory for the PDF file that you are about to create and then click Save. Acrobat Distiller creates the PDF file and saves it in the specified directory.


If you get a warning message from Acrobat Distiller about "maximum named destinations reached", we now know what it means---and it is not something to be ignored. It means that your system is running out of memory during the conversion from PS to PDF, which can result in random index links that don't work. (You get the pointer but it doesn't click to anywhere.) It happens when we embed our fonts in our PDFs, which, for large, books causes the memory problem on some of our systems.

The workaround is to open up Distiller, select Job Options under the Distiller pull-down menu (Settings if you have Distiller 4.0). Select the fonts tab. Clear the first check box that says to embed and instead select the second check box. Save that setting. The tradeoff will be that users' systems will be able to substitute fonts, which should be ok online but may not allow them to print if their printer doesn't substitute properly, which may explain why we received some complaints about some people not being able to print certain documents. It's another reason why the redesign of the template will use standard fonts. If you get that warning message, check the PDF index links.

4. Test the PDF File

It is important to test the PDF file to make sure it is accurate, complete, and functional—when you view it online and when you print any of the pages.

  1. Open the Acrobat Reader.
  2. Click the open folder button on the toolbar or choose File > Open.
  3. Select the PDF file.
  4. View the Acrobat TOC for the document. Make sure the title/copyright page, contents, and index are all accessible and that the chapters and appendixes expand correctly.
  5. Click a few links in the TOC, selected chapters, and the index to make sure they work correctly. Make sure all cross-reference links are blue.
  6. Scroll through the document to make sure all the figures are there and that each appears on the page in an acceptable screen resolution.
  7. Print a few pages containing figures, such as screen captures and line drawings, to confirm that the print quality is acceptable.

  8. If you find any errors, correct them in the FrameMaker file and then repeat the entire PDF process, making sure that you update your TOC and index and create a new PostScript and PDF file.