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Transfer Variable Definitions


Problem description

Variables are transferred from one document to another or to all documents of a book with FrameMaker through the format import (File > Import > Formats | Variable Definitions).

However, this is only possible for all variables of the document (incl. system variables). This is not always desired.

Function description

The script transfers variable definitions from a ‘variable table’ to other documents. This table must contain the variable name in the first column and the variable definition in the second column. The heading text of the table will not be interpreted.

Such a table can be created with the script Report: Variable Definitions. When certain variable definitions are not to be transferred to the documents, simply delete these table rows.

The insertion point must be placed in the variable table before the script is started.

Either the current (report) document, an individual open document or all documents of an open book may be selected as the target document.

The transfer of system variables (which are located in the variable table) may be prevented by disabling the ‘Update system variables’ option.

Disabling the ‘Update existing variables’ option will transfer only those variable definitions to the documents that are not yet available in the documents.

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Coding of special characters

In the FrameMaker variable dialog (up to Version 7), some special characters are specially coded (e.g.‘\b’ instead of ‘•’ or ‘\g’ instead of ‘„’).

The script does not support this type of coding. Instead, the regular characters must be used in the definition column.

The Less-Than sign‘<’ is an exception. Since this symbol is used to define character formats in variables, it must be preceded by a backslash in the definition column (e.g. ‘a \< b’).


  • FrameMaker 6.0 or higher
  • FrameScript/ElmScript 4.1 or higher


The script works with structured and unstructured documents.

The actual variable definition of the document will not be taken into account, but only the second table column with the definition.

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