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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Hi. I hope I'm not in over my head.

    I want to create a simple Word document (to be converted into a template late) that has "IncludeText" fields that reference other files ("component documents") in the same SharePoint folder. I don't have much experience with SP, and have so far figured out only the way the path to the sub-documents should be encoded.

    I have a couple of problems, however. First, the most basic: how do I browse to a SharePoint library when searching for files to "Include"? Will the "Look in..." option always be available to users? if so, is there a "Current folder" property associated with it?

    Second, my attempts to get the path of the document actually returns the path of the folder into which it's been copied for editing (which makes sense, certainly at run-time.) But is it possible to return the SP folder where the document is really stored, so I can create Include fields on the fly, if necessary?

    Third, is there such a thing as a "relative path" for SP libraries/documents? (This document will become a template for other "compound documents", each of which will be identical in structure but which pertain to and live in different products folders. Thus, I figured that the "relative path" approach would allow the same template to work regardless of the folder, since the component documents wold also live in the same folder.)

    Lastly, any recommendations as to whether a Master-document approach (about which I've read some less-than-complimentary information) is better than an "IncludeText fields" approach? (I'm personally leaning towards "IncludeText" fields, unless someone has a good reason for another more idiot-proof method.)

    Thanks in advance for all replies!
    <font face="Comic Sans MS">That's what you do in a herd; you look out for each other!</font face=comic> - Mike

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    I'll be very interested to hear how you get on with this project Mesaka.

    With Microsoft's push to store documents in Sharepoint, I haven't been able to work out how the workflow integrates with the usual functionality of combining documents and attached templates. I don't have access to Sharepoint here but I didn't think that there was a way to browse into a Sharepoint Folder for linking purposes. Even if you could combine doc content from a Sharepoint stored document, how would you determine whether the link should move or remain when the next version of the source text is saved to sharepoint? An individual's access rights to sharepoint folders could easily become an issue when linked files are involved.

    All I can help with is the Master doc vs IncludeText debate. Master docs can work but it is far less problematic to use the IncludeText fields
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Hi Mesaka.
    Hello too Andrew, I hope this post finds you well.

    I have created lots of documents using the Master/sub document system in MS Word. It does work but you need to be rigorous with setting up the folders, sub document locations and template formatting. Your intention to use the include fields is better, and both types of document layout require the same problem you currently have - linking back to the documents using the encoded path.
    With SP, my experience with it is that it completely removes user access to the exact location of files stored on a network - I like that it stores versions and all sorts of stuff nicely but the problems of inaccessability manifest in situations such as ours. I have never worked out a way to do file paths in SP yet and haven't had enough time to play. Your best bet is to talk to your local network admin to find out what options are open to you... PLEASE let us know how you go!

  4. #4
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    I too am experimenting with master documents in Word 2007. I decided to try after reading Woody Leonard's article in his Office Watch newsletter. Master Documents without pain. I too had read long ago that master documents invite trouble. However, Woody now says, "Microsoft listened and rewrote the whole codebase to make it work safely." With those words of reassurance from Woody himself, I'm ready to try master documents.

    My organization has lately pushed us to use SharePoint. I confess I've become a SharePoint junkie, so naturally I'm curious how to work with a master document in SharePoint. This morning, I visited the Microsoft support site and found the disappointing answer. In short, it can't be done. The article titled "You experience a problem when you work with a master document in Word" (article ID 832771) says in part—
    ...the master document feature in Word was not designed to work with documents on a SharePoint server, including SharePoint sites that use the Document Workspace feature.
    I was hoping for a different answer. I will forge ahead with my experimentation with master documents—I can see the possibilities for certain products that I work with. I'll also keep using SharePoint for most of my document production. However, it appears I won't be using the two together. (I confess I know absolutely nothing about 'include fields.')

    Does anyone here have any other insights?

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