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  1. #1
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    Large documents (2003)

    Dear Loungers,

    If you are working on a very large document with many index, TOC entries and other features that you suspect are causing Word to slow down and constantly crash becuase it's not used to dealing with such documents, is there a way to break up the document into segments (perhaps that correspond with the document's chapters) so that in place of each chapter, there is a placeholder, which, when you click on, opens up another document that is much shorter that activates only the much shorter document that you were working on (rather than the whole document), and thereby makes the file more manageable and easier to work with and less susceptible to constant crashing?

    Thanks for letting me know if there is such a thing.

    Regards,

    JMT

  2. #2
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    You sound as though you want the master document feature, but the advice is usually that though this sounds good in theory it doesn't work well in practice, and Loungers generally advise against using it. The alternatives are (1) to keep the chapters as separate files, and either put them together in one large file at the end or (2) to keep them as separate files but use rd fields when you generate the TOC etc. Here is a link to the Office online explanation of how this works. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...861871033.aspx

    Ian

  3. #3
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    I'd definitely create separate documents for the chapters. You can use a document with RD fields to generate an overall TOC and index, as indicated by Ian Wilson.
    You could also create a "main" document that contains INCLUDETEXT fields to pull in the text from the chapter documents.
    And although I agree that master/subdocuments are dangerous, you can use this feature on a copy of the chapter documents at the end, as described by StuartR in <post:=618,692>post 618,692</post:>.

  4. #4
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    The advantages of Master / Sub documents are:
    <UL><LI>The ability to add cross references between chapters
    <LI>Better control of headers and footers throughout the long document
    <LI>Very simple to create table of contents and index[/list]But do make sure that you use a COPY of your documents so that when they become corrupted you haven't lost anything.

    StuartR

  5. #5
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    Is corruption of the master document a given? Or a slight possibility? Or somewhere in the middle.

    The problem with creating separate documents is that I am working with a master file with about 11 chapters, all of them pretty big with indexes and all (which slow down Word, at least in my experience). I usually have to switch between the chapters relatively quickly and don't want to be going through my hard drive fishing for each chapter. I guess I can just put each chapter in a particular folder and just have that folder as a shortcut in "My Places," but still, there is something nice about having a table of contents at the start of the document and being able to get to where I need to be with a simple click.

    If I create 11 separate documents, can I go to a TOC in a document with RD fields and click on a particular chapter to get Word to open up that chapter, in a separate document, or in the same document if possible? I believe Hans was referring to this latter possibility by mentioning the INCLUDETEXT fields.

    Regards,

    JMT

  6. #6
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    If you create a document with RD fields referring to other documents, the TOC in that document doesn't act as a series of hyperlinks to the other documents.

    If you combine the chapter documents in a "central" document using IMCLUDETEXT fields, the TOC does act as a series of hyperlinks, but they jump to the text in the "central" document, not to the other documents. Editing the text in the "central" document won't help, for the changes will be overridden when you update the other documents.

    It can't be that difficult to switch between the chapter documents...

  7. #7
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    Corruption of a master document is a possibility. People who regularly use master documents get occassional problems. If you have a great backup schedule and you are careful to only open the Master document if you absolutely need to then you will probably be ok.

    StuartR

  8. #8
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    <hr>Editing the text in the "central" document won't help, for the changes will be overridden when you update the other documents<hr>
    Not necessarily so. Ctrl-Shift-F7 will propogate the changes from the "central" document to the linked document.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  9. #9
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    Re: Large documents (2003)

    Ah, I didn't know that! Thanks, learned something new today!

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