Working with master documents orsubdocuments in Microsoft Word 2019

If you ever need to work with very long documents within Word 2019,then this feature is for you! Having a particularly long document with ahuge number of pages can become difficult to edit, and you have to takeinto consideration whether your computer can handle the processing ithas to do. You can either work with the master document feature on itsown or use it in combination with the subdocument feature, where parts(for example, chapters of a book) are stored as separate files andcalled upon when changes need to be made.

The Master Document feature is themain parent and keeps all the subdocuments connected. It will continueto allow the use of features such as page or chapter numbering, styles,references, headers and footers, and so on. Let’s investigate thisfeature.

Always keep master documents and subdocuments within the same folder.This will ensure that you have the correct file path access to all theparts of the master documents and subdocuments and that you won’t haveany problems locating documents when editing, which could lead to allsorts of editing and version problems!
It is always best to name your master documents and subdocumentsreally carefully with some naming convention order! This way, you willnot have a problem locating parts of the document that need to be in aparticular order.

If you are creating a master document from scratch, open a newdocument as usual. Alternatively, if you want to change a normaldocument into a master document, open the first document, which willbecome the main document.

For this demonstration, we will use a few documents, thatis, Master.docx, Sub1.docx,Sub2.docx:

  1. Click on File | New | Blankdocument.
  2. Click on View | Outline.
  3. Notice that the Outlining tab isnow present on the ribbon. Click on the ShowDocument icon.
  4. Click on the Insert icon to startdifferentiating between different parts of the document:
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  1. Insert your documents in order of the master, then visit Insert again separately until all thesubdocuments have been added in order:
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  1. You will be asked via a popup message dialog whether you want tokeep conflicting styles. Say Yes toAll of these to maintain consistency with the style that will beused throughout all the documents linked to the master document:
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  1. Don’t forget to save at this point since you have created a newdocument consisting of different parts.

How you continue to edit after this point is entirely up to you. Eachdocument can be worked on separately, which will update the masterdocument upon saving it. You can collapse and expandsubdocuments and remove links from documents you no longer need to keepas part of the master. The beauty of master documents is that you havethe ability to print a large document without the heaviness of one verylong document.

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