Supplement to the Word Heretic (Steve Hudson)'s Master Documents

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This is a supplement to Steve Hudson's work on Master Documents

This page last revised: 06 Apr 2022 23:21:29 -0400 .

This supplements both his work and my page on the Master Documents "Feature." Before working with this, I recommend that you read both.

The Master Documents feature has been reported to trash books and theses. It can mess up parts that are not even open.

Steve Hudson (aka the Word Heretic) has apparently mastered Master Documents and provides detailed instructions on when their use is appropriate, how do to it, with strict rules to follow. These are only for those who are willing and able to follow the instructions. If you are inclined to skip steps or ignore his warnings see the general answer in my other page.

Steve Hudson's work is copyrighted material and will not be repeated here.

Basic ten rules that he gives:

  1. No Text in the Master Other than the Auto-TOC

  2. No Editing Sub-documents via the Master

  3. Delete all auto-Section Breaks (Change layout/columns)

  4. Master and Subs to have the Same Template

  5. Rebuild the documents when the Template style changes

  6. Ignore Rule 2 to Cross-Reference between Subs

  7. Regularly throw the Master out and Rebuild it from Scratch

  8. Only create and load the Master for publishing

  9. Do NOT save changes after publishing

  10. Use version control software

Just reading the rules stated above is not enough. Read his paper! The purpose of this page is to supplement what he says. That was written in 2002 and still provides a good guide for using Master Documents. Word 97, 2000, and 2002 all had flaws not present in Word 2003 nor in current versions. What follows is my supplemental material.

bulletRule 3 - Delete Auto Section Breaks - Simply inserting a sub into a master creates section breaks. In addition changing columns or layout, itself creates one or more section breaks
bulletRule 5 - Rebuild - I am unsure what he is talking about with rebuilding a document. I am going to make some guesses.
bulletTreat it as a corrupt document and copy everything but the last paragraph mark into a new document (based on the same template - Rule 4)
bulletMake sure it only uses styles present in that template.
bulletUpdate the styles from the template
bulletRule 10 - Versioning Software: Save Numbered Versions by Graham Mayor, MVP

In the Ribbon versions of Word, the controls for Master Documents are on the Outlining Tab, which you can see by going into Outline View.

With no section breaks, Steve envisions only having a single set of headers and footers throughout the document. That is:

bulletA first-page header and a first-page footer,
bulletA primary header and a primary footer, and
bulletAn even-page header and an even-page footer.

With that advice, use of the StyleRef field becomes very important. Become familiar with this field and its nuances.

Work only with copies, not with original documents when using the Master Document feature. Remember Herb Tyson's remark that the Master Document feature "word processing's answer to Conan the Destroyer. Use it only if you enjoy pain and frustration." Destroy those copies yourself when you are done with your Master Document.

This page represents an example of hubris on my part. I do not use Master Documents to create huge documents. I have not used them since 2000. I keep hoping that Microsoft will fix this.

 

 

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Using Date Fields in Microsoft Word
Calculated Dates
Booklet Formatting and Printing in Microsoft Word
Changing the Default Font in Microsoft Word
Document linked to Printer in Microsoft Word
Fonts Missing from Menu in Microsoft Word
How can I get a different header / footer on the second page?
Heading? Header? Microsoft Word Help
More on Headers and Footers in Word
Letterhead
I want the filename in the footer of every document.
Margins Missing - White Space
Mapped Content Controls and Document Properties
Moving/Reorganizing Pages in Microsoft Word
Print Preview in Microsoft Word
Weird Lines and Borders
Macros and VBA
Malicious Macros vba in Microsoft Word
Master Documents Feature in Microsoft Word
A Back CoverPage in Microsoft Word
Normal Template in Microsoft Word - How to Open or Find the Normal Template
My docs open in the wrong program! Re-registering Word using the commandline.
Moving (Sharing) Customizations in Microsoft Word
Global StyleSheet?
MVP means?
Naming Files - A System is the Key
Posting tips in the Microsoft Word Forums
Getting rid of that (*)#"@^ paperclip! - Taming the Office Assistant
Page X of Y doesn't work in Microsoft Word!
Save Changes to the Global Template? Keeps Popping Up
Templates in Microsoft Word
Global Templates
Too Many Icons on the Taskbar in Microsoft Word 2000
Getting Rid of the Web Toolbar in Microsoft Word
Word for Word Perfect Users
Favorite Documents Menu
Work Menu in Microsoft Word
Spell Check Dialog Instead of Editor
Templates Menu in Microsoft Word
What books have been recommended about Microsoft Word?
Where can I find more templates?
Word Links

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