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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Master Document: request feedback (Word 2000)

    In distant past (Word 6) I had very bad experiences with "Master Document". The features would be very useful to me now, but I don't want to invest effort if it still trashes subdocs etc.
    Does anyone have experience with the Master Document feature in Word 2000? Is it useable/reliable?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Master Document: request feedback (Word 2000)

    Clicking on Post 101098 - "Master Documents (and why to avoid them)"

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Master Document: request feedback (Word 2000)

    Hi Steve,

    Short answer: no. "Master Document" is a term of art in Word referring to a "feature" that not only doesn't work but also destroys documents. The consensus among those offering advice on the Microsoft Word newsgroups is that using the Master Document feature is a sure way to destroy your document. It can destroy parts of your document that you are not even working on! I think John McGhie said it succinctly when he said that there are two kinds of Master Documents: Those that are corrupt and those that will be corrupt soon. See (addbalance.com/word/masterdocuments.htm) for information on the Master Document feature and workarounds. See <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/WhyMasterDocsCorrupt.htm>Why Master Documents Corrupt (mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/WhyMasterDocsCorrupt.htm) for more information on what goes wrong, and <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/RecoverMasterDocs.htm>How to Recover Master Documents</A> (mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/RecoverMasterDocs.htm) for ideas on how to salvage what you can.

    Hope this helps.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    New Lounger
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    Thank you all.

    I get the picture. I'll find another solution.

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Thank you all.

    Steve,

    There are workarounds that can give you much the same functions as Master Docs. (and then there's always Word Perfect...).
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Master Document: request feedback (Word 2000)

    Just to give the other side of the picture.

    We have a large complex template document that we use at work. It is organised as a master document with about 12 sub-documents. We had some problems with it at first but it now seems pretty stable.

    The master document has NO content, only links to the sub documents. On the rare occassions when we get problems with it we just copy in a new master document from the template folder.

    StuartR

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Master Document: request feedback (Word 2000)

    Hi,

    So far you've been lucky. Sort of like a friend of mine who likes to hitch hike...

    on freeways...

    I would recommend keeping a good clean backup of all of your subs. Master Document has been known to corrupt subs that are not open and if you follow a backup procedure that involves overwriting your backups, you may corrupt your backup before you even open the corrupted sub. So far as I've heard, the only safe thing to do is to use the Master document feature to organize and print (with no editing of subs), and I don't know that that is safe.

    I would recommend burning backups to CD-ROMs that are not set to be overwritten.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    New Lounger
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    Stuart: Any details?

    Stuart: Any details on what went wrong at first and how you fixed it?
    Does your master have a Table of Contents?

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Stuart: Any details?

    > Any details on what went wrong at first
    I think we used to "lose" the links. The most confusing issue is when you copy the entire set of documents from one folder to another and occassionally leave a link to a document in the old folder. We had one occassion when two different document sets were cross linked such that edits were ending up in totally the wrong place.

    > and how you fixed it?
    Mostly by increased discipline about how we copied document sets, and how we added or removed sub-documents. Plus rigorous use of styles in a separate template so that there are no headers, footers, or styles in any sub document.

    My master document has about 3 pages of general front matter (title, author, revision history etc.) and a table of contents. Followed by the sub-documents. Headers and footers are also in the master document.

    StuartR

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