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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Houston, Texas, USA
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    Modular Documents (97/ SR-2)

    I am about to develop a framework for a set of documents, each of which has different segments that are reusable in other documents. After I develop the framework, the different segments will be written by different authors. I intend to have a standard template to distribute to them, with a detailed Table of Contents and in many cases, initial text that they can modify as needed. There will be many tables and graphics in each segment. When segments are incorporated into documents, header numbering will have to be consistent throughout, as will cross-references, indexes, etc.

    What are some of the "gotchas" and "lessons learned" that others have had with this process? Any experiences will be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Super Moderator macropod's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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    Re: Modular Documents (97/ SR-2)

    Hi Caroline,

    Perhaps the most important point is NOT to use Word's 'Master Document' feature. The general consensus is that it will ultimately cause you grief, being prone to corrupting the documents in its set.

    It is certainly useful to have all authors using the same template, as you have suggested. This will help ensure consistency of presentation.

    An important point to consider with graphics etc, is whether they will be embedded in the documents, or simply linked to them. The former will add considerably to each file's size, but avoids the problems you might otherwise have with links being broken when you start moving files around. The latter can be managed (see, for example, <post#=261488>post 261488</post#>) and gives you the ability to automatically update the graphics in the document, if need be, by simply replacing the source files.

    You mention each document having its own Table of Contents. You also mention using cross-references, indexes, etc. If you are also going to have a 'Master' Table of Contents and/or allow inter-document cross-referencing, you will need to use fields like 'RD' and 'INCLUDETEXT', and these will have the same maintenance benefits and drawbacks as linked graphics. If you do a search on some of these topics in this forum, you will see a range of issues that have cropped up and how they have been dealt with.


    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
    Silicon Valley, USA
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    Re: Modular Documents (97/ SR-2)

    It would be helpful to have a meeting where everyone gets on the same page about the use of styles and direct formatting. Otherwise, you almost certainly will have documents that appear to have been "written by committee" (I guess that is what's happening, but you don't want it to look that way to users <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> ).

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