Counterfactual ExtendScript history

Simon Bate / Opinion1 Comment

In the late ’50s, my mom worked for the library at a large Canadian university. One day the library received an official letter from the U.S.S.R. asking the library to please return the Soviet Union’s encyclopedia for “revisions.”
How nice to be able to change history! At times I’ve needed to change my ExtendScript history in FrameMaker.

When you run an ExtendScript in FrameMaker, the name of the script is added to the Script > History list. I find the History a useful place to quickly run an ExtendScript a number of times, without going to the trouble of registering it.

However, I discovered that if you rename a folder or change a path to the script, there is no way to remove the script from the History. If you then run the correct script from its new location, the History list will then contain two entries–both named the same. Because the History list only displays the file name, the two entries are indistinguishable.

If you run a number of different scripts, the misdirected script entry will eventually drop off the list, but there’s no way to explicitly remove a script.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I figured out how to remove an entry from the Script > History menu.

The History is stored in the SCRIPTING.cfg file, which lives in your User Account Preferences for FrameMaker.

I always like to share clever Windows file system tricks. Here’s one that will get you quickly to your User Account Preferences: open Windows Explorer, replace the current contents of the address bar with %appdata%, and press ENTER. Voilà! Now navigate down to AdobeFrameMaker11 (or 10 if you haven’t upgraded).

Before going any further, make sure FrameMaker isn’t running. If you edit SCRIPTING.cfg, then close FrameMaker, your changes will be ignored.

Edit SCRIPTING.cfg in a text editor (Notepad, TextPad, PSPad, Notepad++, Vim, emacs, whatever). Under <HISTORY>, delete the offending line. You can even edit the <HISTORY> contents if you’re feeling frisky. Save the file and close it.

Now when you reopen FrameMaker, the Script > History menu reflects your changes.

It’s not just counterfactual history; you’ve changed history!

About the Author

Simon Bate


Involved in TechComm all my working life (since the time of vacuum tubes, core memory, punch cards, and bone implements). I've worked as a writer, a manager, and—for the past score of years—building software tools for TechComm. My motto is "Let the computer do the work." Outside of work, I balance the calories I create and consume in the kitchen with weight-training sessions at the gym. I also sing Tenor in various choirs and choruses.

One Comment on “Counterfactual ExtendScript history”

  1. Hi

    My name is keshav,

    I’m in need of your suggestion regarding choosing the technical writer as career. I have 7 years of nonrelated experiences

    I completed my 3 year diploma in electronics and communications enng after puc (12th) in science combination

    and currently I’m working as 3d animator since last 4 years and before that I worked in BPO back end as tech support associate for tata indicom and idea cellular for three years and that job was just to support my animation course. Because of passion towards animation now I’m in financial trouble and there is no job stabilization too.

    Now again I’m running behind my second hobby writing and also it is related to my technical education too

    but at the age of 30 I don’t want to do any more experiments with my career and life as I did it in animation concern I did not take any suggestion from senior guys ,didn’t do any research and just because of passion I lost many things in my life .

    So I’m in need of your valuable suggestions

    1. Is my education enough to break into it? Or should have I to complete bachelor degree ?

    2. Is it right time to get into it at the age of 30

    3. In all these years I learnt passion is good only if it is feeding you and your family. So what about job stability and salary wise. What about future in this field

    4.if we want to know about inner and outer of any field we should enter and know but really I don’t have much time to do such research .so kindly give me true knowledge about this field advantages and disadvantages and give me conclusion about breaking into it is good for me or not

    Waiting for your reply

    Thank you


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