IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding Master Documents
Using the Master Document ribbon tools
Creating Master Documents
Working with Master Documents
If you've ever struggled with a multi-file Word document, you will appreciate the idea behind Word's Master Document feature. In concept, a Master Document lets you create a single smaller file that provides access to, command of, and control over a number of smaller documents, called subdocuments. Using a Master Document potentially solves a number of different problems, including managing a complex assortment of cross-references when different sources are housed in a variety of different documents. Other problems potentially solved include creating inclusive tables of contents, indexes, and tables of figures, as well as coordinating headers, footers, page numbers, footnotes, and endnotes.
Another potential advantage in all this is the possibility that different users can check out different components of the Master Document for editing. Thus, someone in one office might be working on Chapter 1, someone else working on Chapter 2, and so on, all at the same time. That way, in theory, each user who edits any given piece has exclusive access, and nobody would ever have to deal with possibly conflicting edits by multiple contributors.
Did you notice the qualifications and hedging in the opening paragraphs? "Appreciate the idea . . ." "In concept . . ." "In theory . . " "Potentially"? Like ...