atw: Re: Master docs

  • From: Rhonda Bracey <rhonda.bracey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 09:57:10 +0800

Sonja: Your doc sounds pretty small to me, and I have every confidence that 
Word will be able to deal with it, without using Master Docs.

I regularly work with 300+ page Word documents written and handled by MULTIPLE 
authors before they get to me. The biggest was 155 MB; many are typically over 
20 MB. They are all complex docs with potentially hundreds of internal x-refs, 
TOC, Lists of tables and figures (sometimes Plates too), outline numbering for 
up to 5 levels of headings, caption numbering that incorporates Heading 1 
numbers, multiple appendices (separately numbered for the headings, but 
included in the TOC etc.), front matter, quite a lot of doc automation for the 
Doc Control pages (4 of those in each doc, including separate page numbering 
sequences), citations and references, list of terms, A3 pages, multiple 
landscape/portrait sections etc.

My authors are NOT Word savvy, though most do a reasonable job despite that.

We do not use Master Docs and we've only had one of these Word docs fall over 
in the past 2.5 years I've been working on them. I've edited something like 600 
of these docs in that time. These docs started life as Word 2003 docs and are 
now all Word 2007 docs. 

I investigated Master Docs for a big public document (probably over 1000 pages) 
that will be published later this year , but the inability to x-ref other 
sections and maintain those links when pulling the doc together at the end, as 
well as the learning curve for the multiple authors to make sure they didn't 
stuff it up meant I rejected that solution.

Word 2007/2010 is MUCH better for large, complex docs than any earlier version 
(though 2003 was pretty good). And that's without using Master Docs.

I just wish there was a way within Word (i.e. not using a commercial solution) 
to maintain a central list of references and automatically pull individual 
items into the doc as a citation where the citation and reference would always 
be correct. Maybe one day...


Rhonda Bracey 
CyberText Newsletter/blog:
Author-it Certified Consultant
-----Original Message-----
From: austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:austechwriter-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of McShane, Sonja A
Sent: Wednesday, 27 April 2011 9:02 AM
To: austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: atw: Master docs

I'll have about seven 'sections' of between 20 and 40 pages (very roughly). Not 
huge, but big enough to warrant using master doc, I think. Do you?

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