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  1. #1
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    I've got to create a Master document and I wanted to get anyone's words of advice before starting. I've got several individual "Chapters" which I need to combine into one large "Book." I figured I could best accomplish this with Word's Master / Sub-Document feature. I've also got items in each Chapter tagged with TOC codes, so that once I get all the sub-docs put together nicely, I can create a TOC at the beginning of the whole master. I tried this about a week ago - before someone came back to me with all kinds of changes to the individual Chapters - and it was a little bit of a train wreck. Of course, the Headers/Footers were a mess, with random Section Break-Continuous's turning into Section Break - Next Page's. And when I created the TOC, for some reason the formatting of the TOC messed up the formatting on the original source text (from which the TOC codes were being pulled). So I figure that it was some of Word's wacky "Auto-Think-For-Me" stuff going on here, and I wondered if anyone who'd worked with combining documents like this extensively had some advice for me to make this process go smoothly. I'd really like to take the individual docs - just like they are with their formatting/headers/footers/etc. - and pull them into one large document so that I can hyperlink some things from one Chapter to another, and create a TOC, etc. Is Master/Sub-Document the way to go? OR should I resort to good, old fashioned Copying and Pasting the sections into one main doc?

    Thanks in advance -

    Satiria

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger
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    Don't. MDs are an absolute nightmare. To use them successfully, formatting using styles and no direct formatting are mandatory and the slightest error may cause you to lose lumps of work. If other users are creating parts of the documents and sending them to you, I'd forget about them completely.

    See http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/General/Wh...ocsCorrupt.htm and http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/General/RecoverMasterDocs.htm

    Terry

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    I agree. There are so many variables that can throw off your results with that approach... I just did a similar project, and the IncludeText field seems way more predictable.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS">That's what you do in a herd; you look out for each other!</font face=comic> - Mike

  4. #4
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    There are some trustable voices out there who say that master documents, while fatally flawed in the past, have been improved on in recent versions of Word, to the point where they can be safe to use if done right. I can't get on either side of the debate, having never used master documents (after having been warned off them from the very beginning), but for the sake of completeness, here are some links to look at if you do want to try using them:

    Office Watch article: Master documents without pain

    Article by Word MVP Steve Hudson: Using Microsoft Word Master Documents
    (this article is linked to from one of the John McGhie articles that Terry has provided a link to)

    Gary

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