Template Development

Template development and associated pricing questions often come up. When asked how much it costs to build a template the response can range wildly based on many factors.


Our experience in this area is broad. Our staff has built templates for Word and FrameMaker since 1992.

We have worked with Adobe over the years and created templates that are part of the current DITA and unstructured content in the application as it ships. Along the way we've done all kinds of work for clients around the world and in a huge range of industries.

We also generally try to convince clients to budget for an extra few days during which we document the template, the styles, and best practices using the template itself. This allows us to better test the template and to ensure that your ability to use it is at the highest level it can be. Good documentation generally pays for itself in ease of use and keeps users productive and happy.


Our services related to templates include:

  • template development

  • template design

  • assessment of legacy templates

  • content conversion from one template to another

  • EDD and structured development

  • plug-ins and scripting

Let us know what your challenges are and we'll work with you to streamline and automate solutions. Our current client base for these services includes companies such as Adobe Systems, AGFA Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson, and Carestream Healthcare.


Pricing requires a deeper understanding of what you are doing. It's a bit like building a house. To ask "how much for a house" leaves a wide range of possible answers. Pricing depends on features, complexity, and a lot of behind the scenes answers.

Some template work (unstructured, pretty basic content) can be completed within a few days. Others may take months (structured, custom DTD, a lot of dynamic content, multiple master pages, huge layout demands, custom script development). The range has been as low as $2,500 or so, and as high as over $50,000.


"We selected Adobe FrameMaker because it easily handles large documents and simplifies style, template, layout, and graphics management." — To successfully transition to Adobe FrameMaker, Distech enlisted the help of publishing environment experts Publishing Smarter. Distech can efficiently and automatically publish in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Adobe Case Study

(read the full PDF)