Master Document Tips

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Wrapping up our look at Master Documents in Word with some extra tips.

We’ve been looking at Master Documents in Word and here’s some extra tips to help you get the most from this once feared Word feature that’s come good …

 

· Feature like Page number, Header and Footer, Date and time, index and cross-reference can be easily added to the master document. To achieve this open an existing master document, click on View | Print Layout | Insert. In the Insert menu choose any option to add desired features like page number, header and footer, etc. At the desired location these add-ons can be inserted.

· Word applies the style and format of the master document to the entire document overriding the styles of the subdocument

· Any format and styles can be added separately to the subdocument by opening the specific subdocument in a new window. But this format will not appear when the subdocument is appearing within the master document since Word applies the style and format of the master document to the entire document overriding the styles of the subdocument.

· Using the Lock feature it is possible to avoid multiple people working on the same subdocument so that at a time only one person can modify the subdocument whereas the others can just view the document.

· The subdocuments can be easily rearranged by clicking on the subdocument icon and dragging it to the required location. This task cannot be done if the master document or subdocuments are locked.

· To update cross-references, table of contents or index you must work on the subdocuments from within the master document and not while working on a subdocument opened in a new window. To do this open the master document and expand the subdocuments. Click anywhere in the table of contents or index and press the [F9] button to update.

· The subdocuments must always be renamed from within the master document only otherwise the subdocuments will not be found in the master document next time it is opened.

· Documents from other locations can also be inserted as subdocument in the master document by clicking Outlining | Show Document | Insert button. However it’s good practice to put the master document and sub-documents in one folder.

· There are other option available under the Show Document button like Merging two subdocuments, splitting a subdocument into different documents, Locking the subdocument so that changes cannot be done and Unlinking the subdocument so that its contents can be merged into the master document.

· Master documents can get corrupted easily especially when it is edited. This isn’t as much of a problem in Word 2002 (XP) and later but some caution is always warranted. If you are using master document to create an index then keep a copy of all the documents in a different location and copy them to another place for the master document to run the index creation. This way the corruption of master document can be overcome.

· Hence Master Document can be used to manage a large number of individual documents. Using the master document you can preview the list of subdocuments easily since the subdocuments appear as simple hyperlinks. This also helps in managing large number of Index and Table of Content. If you would like to insert these features in the master document then open the master document and click References | Table of Contents or click References | Index option.

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