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sdfbatch - Batch Processing Utility


sdfbatch is a preprocessor for fmbatch, FrameMaker's command-line driven batch processing


usage : sdfbatch [+alias] [-h[help]] [-f fmt_file]
[-F fmt_what] [-u] [-p[print_doc]]
[-P paper_size] [-s[save_ext]]
[-S save_fmt] [-n] [-t timeout]
frame_file ...
purpose: generate fmbatch input file
version: 2.000 (SDF 2.001)

The options are:

Option Description
-h display help on options
-f formats file
-F formats to import
-u update documents
-p print documents
-P paper size name
-s save extension
-S save file format
-n output the batch file (instead of calling fmbatch)
-t timeout for printer driver to generate ps

The aliases are:

Alias Description
fm2ps convert Frame files to PostScript


Given a set of FrameMaker documents, sdfbatch can be used to:

· change the formatting of the documents (ala Use Formats From)

· update the documents (i.e. cross-references, etc.)

· print the documents

· save the documents in a nominated file format

The -h option provides help. If it is specified without a parameter, a brief description
of each option is displayed. To display the attributes for an option, specify the option
letter as a parameter.

To change formatting, use the -f option to specify the file to import the formats from.
The -F option can be used to specify what formats are imported. The argument to the -F
option is a set of the characters in the table below.

Character Meaning
p Paragraph formats
f Font formats
l Page layouts
c Cross references
v Variables
r Reference page contents
t Table formats
x Conditional text
k Color
m math
B Preserve manual page breaks
O Preserve other formatting overrides

By default, all formats are imported.

To update documents, use the -u option.

To print documents, use the -p option. If a parameter is not provided, the file will be
printed to the default printer. To print to a PostScript file, specify the "file" keyword
as the parameter. Alternatively, the parameter is the name of a print settings file.

When generating a PostScript file, the paper size can be specified using the -P option.
The default value is global. The paper size name is actually mapped to a print settings
file called paper_size.fmver in the stdlib library directory. fmver is typically either
fm4 or fm5, depending on which version of FrameMaker you are using.

To save documents, use the -s option. By default, this saves each file. To change the
extension, supply an argument to the -s option.

To specify a different format, use the -S option. Possible values are:

· m - MIF

· a - line-oriented ASCII

· t - paragraph-oriented ASCII

· d - Frame document

· l - View-Only Frame document

· - - file's current format [default]

Take care with the file extension - any existing files will be replaced without warning.

The -n option causes the generated fmbatch file to be output. i.e. fmbatch is not called.
This option is useful for debugging.

The -t option enables the user to tune the time-out used when waiting for the print driver
to generate a PostScript file. The default value is 300 seconds (i.e. 5 minutes).

A combination of the f, u, p and s options can be supplied if more that one operation is
required per file. For example, you may wish to import formats and then save the resultant
file. For each file, the operations are always done in the following order:

1. formatting

2. updating

3. printing

4. saving

Note: Not all of the values documented for the -F and -S options may be supported in Frame
versions before 4.0 and additional values may be supported in future versions. As such,
the values supplied to these options are simply embedded in the generated sdfbatch file.
i.e. no checking is done on the value. This behaviour is considered a feature.


To format and print a set of files:

sdfbatch -fmyfmts.doc -p *.doc

To convert mif files to binary files:

sdfbatch -sdoc -Sd *.mif

To copy Frame variables from a file to a set of files:

sdfbatch -fvariable.mif -Fv -s *.doc

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