Adobe FrameMaker 2015 and RTL Features

September 6, 2015 Waleed Eseily

Adobe FrameMaker is one of the primary tools used for word processing and desktop publishing. It is mainly designed for large and complex documents. It continues to be one of the best choices for technical writers because it offers the most efficient tools available for creating, maintaining, and distributing long and content-rich documents.

FrameMaker began supporting Arabic (and other Right-to-Left languages) in 2015. Until FrameMaker 2015 was introduced, many technical writers who targeted the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region were not able to use FrameMaker while designing their technical documents. Their documents needed to be localized into RTL (Right-to Left) languages, which were not supported by earlier versions of FrameMaker.


FrameMaker 2015 supports RTL and Bi-Di text

Not only does FrameMaker 2015 support RTL languages, it supports a mix of RTL and LTR languages, not just in one book and in one page, but also in one paragraph. Full Bi-Di (bi-directional) text support is also available in FrameMaker 2015.



After creating a new document or opening an existing document you can reverse the direction of the whole document with one click:

From the Format menu, choose Direction > Right-to-Left or Left-to-Right.


This simply flips individual objects, such as flows, text lines, paragraphs, tables, images, lists, and neutral characters (such as parenthesis). This flips the position of the images and illustrations but does not mirror them by default, but you still have the option to mirror them all if needed.



If you have a multi-flow document where some paragraphs are in LTR language, like English or German, and others in RTL language, like Arabic or Hebrew, you can change the direction of the separate paragraph this way:

1.   Place the insertion point inside the paragraph.

2.   In the Paragraph Designer, go to the Direction tab.

3.   In the Direction drop-down list, choose Right-to-Left or Left-to-Right.


Selecting inherit means that the direction applied to the whole file will be applied to the selected paragraph.



You can change the direction of a table through these steps:

1.   Place the insertion point inside the table.

2.   In the Table Designer, go to the Direction tab.

3.   In the Direction drop-down list, choose Right-to-Left or Left-to-Right.

Selecting inherit means that the direction applied to the whole file will be applied to the selected table.



Numbering styles for: Indic, Hebrew, Farsi, Abjad, and Alif Ba Ta that you can use in auto numbering of paragraphs, sections, tables, figures, footnotes, and page numbers are now available in this version.


Text boxes and text lines:

To flip text lines and text flows do the following:

1.   Select the text line or text flow.

2.   From the Graphic menu, choose Object Properties.

3.   In the Object Properties dialog box, choose Text Line or Text Frame.

4.   In the Direction drop-down list, choose Right-to-Left or Left-to-Right.


RTL toolbar:

A new Direction toolbar had been added to help you quickly change the direction of your document, convert digits from Hindi to Arabic or from Arabic to Hindi, and easily format the bi-directional text.




With FrameMaker 2015, technical writers and content creators should not worry about localizing their documents to any language. Now you can make use of the huge capabilities of FrameMaker in your RTL languages the same way you used to with LTR languages.


GPI's Multilingual Desktop Publishing Services

Globalization Partners International provides many services with  document localization and  website translation that involve multilingual desktop publishing services. This list below highlights some of the more common products used in such projects:

You may also find some of our previous blogs on desktop publishing useful:

Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our language and technology services. Also, let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs. You may request complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

About the Author

Waleed Eseily

Waleed is a native Arabic speaker born in Menofeya (the northern part of the Nile Delta), Egypt. He has over 10 years’ experience in multilingual design, desktop publishing and localization engineering. Over the years he has worked for localization and design companies in the documentation desktop publishing and design departments. He also has comprehensive training and experience in many localization and CAT tools. He holds an array of professional certifications including CIW’s Certified Internet Webmaster and Programmer, IBM Web Programmer and Macromedia Designer and extensive application experience with the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft products.

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