Microsoft KB Archive/255908
Article ID: 255908
Article Last Modified on 11/15/2005
- Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
This article was previously published under Q255908
For a Microsoft Word 97 and earlier version of this article, see 180142.
This article is part 1 of a two-part series about master documents. Most of the information in this article is included in Microsoft Word Help; however, that information is compiled in this article as an easy reference tool. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257919 WD2000: Part 2: General Information About Master Documents
NOTE: The Outline toolbar and the Master Document toolbar, which are separate in earlier versions of Microsoft Word, are combined as the Outlining toolbar in Word 2000. To access the Outlining toolbar, click Outline on the View menu.
For additional information about creating a long document without using the Master Document feature, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
253957 WD2000: How to Create a Long Document in Word
What Is a Master Document?
A master document is a container for pointers (hyperlinks) to individual documents called subdocuments. When the subdocuments are opened within the master document, the subdocuments appear to be one long document.
A master document helps you to organize and maintain the multiple subdocuments as a long document. With a master document, you can work with the entire long document or with any subdocument. Any Word document can be a master document or a subdocument.
You can work alone with a master document that you create yourself, or you can work with others simultaneously to create and to revise subdocuments of the master document.
Advantages of Master Documents
Working with a master document instead of individual Word documents makes it easier to do the following:
- Move quickly to a location within multiple documents.
- Reorganize multiple documents by moving headings.
- See the latest changes to multiple documents without opening a series of individual files.
- Create different arrangements of subdocuments; for example, subdocuments that are sorted by author or by chapter.
- Create cross-references among multiple documents.
- Compile indexes, tables of contents, and similar lists for multiple documents.
- Print multiple documents without opening a series of individual files.
- Make all revisions within subdocuments, so that the entire master document does not have to be open. This saves resources and allows multiple users to work on different portions of the master document simultaneously.
A master document handles the organizational details for you. You do not have to assemble files or keep track of the file name or location of each subdocument. For example, in a workgroup, one person can set up a master document and subdocuments on a server.
Individuals who work on the project need to know only where the master document is stored; they can open and work on any subdocument by opening the master document.
How to Set Up a Master Document
You can set up a master document by doing either of the following:
- Create a new master document when you begin to work on a long document.
- Create a master document by inserting existing Word documents.
No matter which method you use to create a master document, you work in outline view to create, add, and arrange subdocuments. The Outlining toolbar includes the master document features. In outline view, you can create, promote, and demote headings, expand and collapse body text, and work with subdocuments.
IMPORTANT: The total size of a master document and its subdocuments cannot exceed 32 megabytes (MB). In Microsoft Windows, the maximum number of subdocuments that are allowed in a master document depends on the number of files that you have open, the size of the files that you have open, the number of programs that you are running, the amount of computer memory, the operating system that you are using, and other system configurations. If you reach this limit when you save the master document, Word cannot save your documents.
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
211489 WD2000: Operating Parameter Limitations and Specifications
To work around this problem, do one of the following:
- Cancel the Save procedure for the master document, close other programs, and then try to save your document again.
- Convert some of the subdocuments into master document text, and then save the master document. For more information, please see the "Convert a Subdocument into Part of the Master Document" section in part 2 of this article.
- Remove the subdocuments from the master document, and then save the master document. For more information, please see the "Remove a Subdocument and Its Contents from a Master Document" section in part 2 of this article.
Then you can print the subdocuments individually or copy the text from the subdocuments into a regular Word document. You can also use an INCLUDETEXT field to insert the contents of one subdocument into another.For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
253957 How to Create a Long Document in Word
Or you can use the Office Binder to combine and organize related subdocuments. For more information about Microsoft Office Binder, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type binder in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
Create a New Master Document When You Begin to Work on a Long Document
Word looks for the built-in heading styles (Heading 1 through Heading 9) when it creates subdocuments. As you set up a master document, make sure to use these built-in styles to create headings. If you use the Promote and Demote buttons on the Outlining toolbar, Word automatically applies the built-in heading styles.
You can also use the Style box on the Formatting toolbar to apply a built-in heading style to a paragraph.
As you organize the headings, decide which heading level you want to use to mark the beginning of each subdocument. For example, you may want to use a Heading 1 for the title of the entire document and keep that text as part of the master document instead of including it in any of the subdocuments. Then you can use a Heading 2 to start any new subdocument.
To create a master document from the beginning, follow these steps:
- Open a new document.
- On the View menu, click Outline. The Outlining toolbar appears.
Type an outline for the master document. Use the buttons on the Outlining toolbar to create, promote, and demote headings. Pick a heading level to mark the beginning of each subdocument.
For example, type the following information into a new document in outline view.
Type this outline: Use this style: The Solar System Set style to Heading 1: Mercury Set style to Heading 2: Geology Set style to Heading 3: Atmosphere Set style to Heading 3: Venus Set style to Heading 2: Geology Set style to Heading 3: Atmosphere Set style to Heading 3: Earth Set style to Heading 2: Geology Set style to Heading 3: Atmosphere Set style to Heading 3: Moons Set style to Heading 3:
NOTE: Heading 1 is used for the title of the master document, and Heading 2 is used for the beginning of each subdocument as you create it in step 3.
- Select the headings that you want to divide into subdocuments. You can select any or all of the headings. Make sure that the first heading in the selection is the heading level that you want Word to use for the beginning of each subdocument.
For our example, start selecting with the first Heading 2 setting (Mercury) and select through Moons. Because the first line that you select has the style set to Heading 2, a subdocument is created for each line selected that is formatted with the Heading 2 style.
- Click the Create Subdocument button on the Outlining toolbar. Word creates the subdocuments.
In our example, three subdocuments are created--Mercury, Venus, and Earth--because the first selection is a Heading 2, and Mercury, Venus, and Earth are formatted with Heading 2 styles.
Note what you see on the screen: Word encloses each subdocument in a box (called the subdocument box) and displays a subdocument icon in the upper-left corner of each box. Word also separates subdocuments with a section break above the top and bottom parts of the subdocument box.
In order to see the section break identifiers, you must have the Show/Hide option turned on. (Click the Show/Hide () button on the Standard toolbar. Or click Options on the Tools menu, click the View tab, and then click to select the All check box under Formatting marks).
It is recommended that you always keep the Show/Hide () setting turned on when you work with a master document.
To determine the type of section break that was inserted, follow these steps:
- Move the insertion point below the section break in question.
- On the File menu, click Page Setup and then click the Layout tab.
- The type of section break is listed under Section Start.
- Click Cancel.
NOTE: At times, you may need to change the type of section break; for example, from a Continuous section break to a New Page section break or an Odd Page section break. This occurs most frequently at the beginning of a new chapter of a book. To change the type of section break, follow these steps:
- Open your master document.
- On the View menu, click Normal.
- Move the insertion point to the first page of the subdocument (chapter) in which you want to change the type of section break.
- On the File menu, click Page Setup, and then click the Layout tab.
- Under Section Start, click the type of section break that you want to use.
- Change the Apply to box to This section.
- Click OK.
- Click Save As on the File menu. Enter a name in the File name box, and then click OK. Word saves the master document and all of its subdocuments in the location that you specify and automatically assigns file names to the subdocuments.
- To see the file name that Word assigned to a subdocument, double-click the subdocument icon to open the subdocument. You see the name of the subdocument in the title bar. (To close the subdocument and return to the master document, click Close on the File menu.)
- When you save a master document, the subdocuments are saved as separate documents. In our example, four files are saved (one master document and three subdocuments).
Create a Master Document by Inserting Existing Word Documents
IMPORTANT: Although Microsoft Word allows you to insert a master document as a subdocument into a different master document, Microsoft does not recommend this practice, because you may encounter various "file locking" and text-formatting problems.
To create a master document by inserting existing Word documents, follow these steps:
- Open the master document to which you want to add an existing Word document as a subdocument.
- On the View menu, click Outline.
- Position the insertion point where you want to add the existing document as a subdocument.
NOTE: Make sure that the Show/Hide () option is turned on and that your insertion point is not positioned within a subdocument.
- On the Outlining toolbar, click Insert Subdocument.
- In the File name box, type or select the name of the document that you want to add, and then click Open. Word adds the document and keeps its original file name.
NOTE: If the subdocument and master document are based on different templates, the way that you access the subdocument affects the subdocument's formatting.
If you work with the subdocument from within the master document, Word uses the formatting from the template that is attached to the master document.
If you open the subdocument separately, either within or outside the master document, Word uses the formatting of the template that is attached to the subdocument. (For more information, please see the "Use Templates with Master Documents" section in part 2 of this article.)
How to Work with a Master Document
You can work with a master document either in outline view or in normal view. To work most effectively, follow these guidelines:
- Switch to outline view to see or revise the structure of a long document or to open specific subdocuments. In outline view, you see an outline of the current document and can easily open any subdocument.
- Switch to normal view to work on the master document as a whole. With the master document open in normal view, you can create cross-references among multiple subdocuments and make other changes easily, just as if you had opened a single document. When you work in normal view, each subdocument is contained within section breaks of the master document. This view makes it easier to determine which section break you are in and which properties the section contains.
- In Word 2000, when you first open a master document, all subdocuments are collapsed. That is, each subdocument appears as a hyperlink that shows only the path and file name of the subdocument. You can click a hyperlink to open the subdocument and work on it in its own window. If you prefer to work on the master document as a whole, you can expand the subdocuments by clicking Expand Subdocument on the Outlining toolbar and work on them in place or switch to normal view.
After you set up a master document, when you make changes that affect the overall project you must do so from within the master document. For example, if you need to add or remove a subdocument from a master document, make sure that you open the master document and then make the changes from within the master document.
IMPORTANT: Do not use Windows Explorer to delete files that are part of a master document unless you first remove the subdocument from the master document.
How to Work with a Subdocument
Working with a subdocument is much like working on an ordinary Word document, with the following important distinctions:
- Word uses the Author field of each document's summary information to determine who "owns" the document. If you open a master document or subdocument that does not list you as the Author, you must unlock it before you can make changes. For more information about master document locking, please see the "Share a Master Document with Others" section in part 2 of this article.
- To move text or graphics among subdocuments, open the master document and then switch to normal view. Either drag or cut and paste the text and graphics that you want to move, just as if you are working on a single document. You can also work in outline view if you want to move the entire contents of a subdocument into another subdocument. These methods are often easier than opening several subdocuments and then cutting and pasting text and graphics among them.
- If you want multiple authors to work on parts of a subdocument simultaneously, you can split the subdocument. Conversely, you can merge subdocuments if you want to combine small files. You can also "nest" subdocuments. To do this, just select the headings in a subdocument and then click Create Subdocument on the Outlining toolbar to create a new subdocument. You can create up to nine levels of master documents and subdocuments.
IMPORTANT: In the following procedures, the subdocument that you want to work with may be locked. Word displays a padlock symbol in the upper-left corner of a locked subdocument. To unlock it, position the insertion point in the subdocument, and click Lock Document on the Outlining toolbar.
If you have the same document inserted as a subdocument more than once, some fields may not be updated as expected, because one of the subdocuments is locked. All instances of a subdocument that is inserted more than once cannot be unlocked at the same time, and Word cannot fully update or modify a locked subdocument. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
176313 WD: Troubleshooting Guide: File Locking in Master Documents
To open a subdocument from within a master document, follow these steps:
- Open your master document.
- On the View menu, click Outline.
- To open the subdocument, double-click the subdocument icon, or click the hyperlink to the subdocument.
NOTE: If others need to work on the master document, close the master document so that they can access it.
- Edit the subdocument.
- When you finish making changes, save the subdocument.
When you save the subdocument, Word automatically updates the changes in the subdocument and its master document.
For more information about master documents, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type master documents overview in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
Keywords: kbhowto kbinfo kbfaq KB255908