Types of items compared

When comparing two versions of a document, FrameMaker checks the contents of flows with the same names on body and reference pages. It looks at text, footnotes, anchored frames, tables, vari­ables and their definitions, cross-references and their formats, footnote text, marker types, and marker text. FrameMaker doesn’t compare structure elements; it does compare the element contents.

The following are some specific differences that FrameMaker can find:

Anchored frames

FrameMaker compares the objects in the frame. If the objects are different, or if they are in different positions, FrameMaker marks the entire anchored frame as changed.


FrameMaker checks whether a cross-reference is external or internal. It also checks the cross-references format name, the marker text at the source, and the path of the referenced file (for external cross-references). If any of these properties are different, FrameMaker marks the cross-reference as changed.

Text insets

FrameMaker compares the modification date, the filename, the relative paths of text insets, and the way the inset was imported. For example, for imported insets, it checks whether the lines were merged into paragraphs. If any of these items are different, it marks the entire text inset as changed.

Imported graphics

FrameMaker compares the contents and dpi scaling of the imported graphic. For example, it checks whether the object has been flipped or rotated, and compares the size of the bounding box. It also compares how the graphic was imported—by reference or by copying. When you import a graphic by reference, FrameMaker compares the paths. If any of these properties are different, it marks as changed the line that contains the anchored frame of the imported graphic.


FrameMaker compares the size of the equation, the location of the equation within its graphic frame, and the math expressions. If any of these items are different, it marks the entire equation as changed.


FrameMaker checks the number of rows and columns, whether cells are straddled, and whether cells are rotated. If any of these properties is different, FrameMaker marks the line that contains the table anchor as changed. If text in cells has changed, only the new table appears in the composite document. FrameMaker marks the line in the cell that has changed as changed. If more than 75% of the cells have changed, it marks the entire table as changed.

FrameMaker doesn’t compare these items:

Master page flows, header and footer flows, or untagged flows

Graphic objects or text lines not in anchored frames

Anchored frame positions

Footnote properties or numbers

Paragraph, character, or table tags

Text or table formatting

Tags in the Paragraph Catalog, Character Catalog, or Table Catalog

Contents of text insets

FrameMaker doesn’t check the formatting of text or tables. Therefore, it doesn’t notice different ruling or shading in a table or a different color assigned to text.

Both the English version of FrameMaker and the Japanese version running on a Japanese OS can compare Japanese text.

September 30, 2016

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