FrameMaker 9: How to Optimize Performance

My latest project involves using FrameMaker 9 on Windows Vista. This is my first time using Vista and, let’s say, I’m finding my feet. I’ve had some performance issues with FrameMaker 9 using Vista — and for the first time — FrameMaker crashed on me!

With that said I found this tutorial (http://kb2.adobe.com) on the Adobe site that gives some tips on how to optimize the performance of FrameMaker 9 on Windows Vista.

The performance of Adobe FrameMaker depends on several factors, including the options you select, your workflow, and the operating system and hardware configuration. The performance improvements listed below are most noticeable when you work with larger files. Optimizing the operating system and hardware configuration improves performance in other applications as well.

Before you perform the steps below, make sure to install the latest version of FrameMaker or any FrameMaker updates to the version you are using. FrameMaker updates often include performance-related fixes or enhancements. See http://www.adobe.com/products/framemaker/

Note: The Windows Vista procedures in this document are based on the default interface.

Optimizing Windows

By configuring your system to run efficiently, you increase the amount of memory available to applications and ensure that they run smoothly. Increase the amount of memory available to FrameMaker, quit applications you are not using, or disable nonessential startup applications or fonts to improve the performance of Illustrator.

Virtual memory

Virtual memory allows the system to use hard disk space to store information normally stored in RAM. Because it takes longer to access information on a hard disk than it does to access information in memory, using a portion of the hard disk as virtual memory can decrease performance.

Windows Vista manages virtual memory using a paging file; you define the minimum and maximum size of this file. FrameMaker performs best when the paging file’s maximum size is at least three times the amount of installed RAM.

To create a paging file with a maximum size of three times your amount of installed RAM, see “Create a paging file with a maximum size of three times your amount of installed RAM (Windows Vista)”

TechNote kb404940 at http://kb2.adobe.com

Delete temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility.

See “Delete temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility (Windows Vista)”

TechNote kb404917 http://kb2.adobe.com

Display drivers

Some display drivers offer advanced settings for accelerating or modifying graphics display. Sometimes these settings can adversely affect screen redraw performance in FrameMaker.

Try disabling driver-specific features to determine the best settings for use with FrameMaker.

Fonts

If you install only the fonts you need, then you will improve system performance and the performance of applications that access fonts.

Each installed font increases the amount of RAM used by the system, which decreases the amount of RAM available to open applications, and increases the amount of time applications take to display font menus. Use a font management utility to help you manage many fonts.

Startup applications

Applications that start automatically with Windows compete with FrameMaker for available RAM. You can prevent programs from starting automatically with Windows by doing the following:

To disable programs from the StartUp folder in Windows Vista:

1. Quit all applications.

2. Go to Start > All Programs > Windows Defender.

3. In Windows Defender click the tools button, then Software Explorer.

4. In the Category box, select Startup Programs.

5. Select Show For All Users.

6. Select the program that you want to prevent from running and then click Disable.

7. Click Yes to confirm that you want to stop that program from running.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for every program you want to stop from running.

9. Restart Windows:

Note: If the performance of FrameMaker does not improve, then re-enable the icons and shortcuts in Windows Defender.

If the performance of FrameMaker improves, then isolate the performance problem to one or more programs using Windows Defender to re-enable programs.

Repeat this process until the performance of FrameMaker degrades. When you have isolated the icon or shortcut that is causing the performance problem, remove it again and contact the program’s manufacturer to see if an update is available.

To close applications that are specified to start automatically in the registry:

1. Restart Windows.

2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

3. Click the Applications tab.

4. Select an application name, and then click End Task.

5. Restart FrameMaker.

If performance for FrameMaker improves, then contact the application’s manufacturer for help in permanently disabling it from starting automatically. Repeat steps 2-5 for each remaining startup application.

Optimizing your hardware configuration

The hardware you use affects the performance of FrameMaker: the faster the processor or hard drive, the faster FrameMaker can process information. Other hardware enhancements, such as installing additional RAM, using a multiprocessor system, or optimizing and defragmenting drives, can also improve performance.

Processor speed

The speed of FrameMaker is limited by the speed of your computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). Since FrameMaker manipulates large quantities of data and performs many calculations, its speed is greatly dependent on the processor’s speed.

Installed RAM

If FrameMaker has insufficient RAM, it uses hard disk space (that is, virtual memory, scratch disk, or both) to process information.

FrameMaker is fastest when it can process information in memory, without having to use a hard disk.

Hard disks

As you add, delete, and move files on a hard disk, available space is no longer a single, contiguous block. If the system does not have enough contiguous space, it saves fragments of a file to different locations on the hard disk.

An application requires more time to read a fragmented file than one saved to a contiguous location. You can test your hard disk by using “Check your hard disk for errors.” You can defragment files and optimize available hard disk space by using Disk Defragmenter.

As FrameMaker reads and writes information while working on a file, the faster the access speed of the disk containing the file or the FrameMaker scratch disk, the faster FrameMaker can process file information.

To improve the performance of FrameMaker, work on files saved on drives with fast access speeds, such as an internal hard drive, rather than those with slow access speeds, such as a network server (a network drive) or removable media (for example, Zip drive, or floppy disk).

Removable media often have slower access times and are more easily damaged than internal hard drives.

When you want to save a FrameMaker file to a network or removable drive, Adobe recommends you first save the file to an internal hard disk, and then close the file and use Windows Explorer to copy the closed file to the external or network drive, or save the file to the network using Adobe Version Cue.

Printer language

For best results when printing from FrameMaker, use a PostScript printer.

Most non PostScript printers rely on display information, host computer resources, and proprietary printer drivers to relay print information to the printer, so they may take much longer to print than a PostScript printer. See http://go.adobe.com/kb/ts_kb406897_en-us

Looking for more info

Create a paging file with a maximum size of three times your amount of installed RAM (Windows Vista)

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404940.html

Delete temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility (Windows Vista)

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404917.html

Some of these are plain common sense, however, I wasn’t aware of how Adobe FrameMaker processes information and the tip to avoid saving directly to a network is worth remembering.

Like I said, I’m new to Vista.

What tips can you give me to get the most of it?

Better still, what tips can you give me to get the most of Adobe FrameMaker?

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