RE: Using master documents in MS Word

Subject: RE: Using master documents in MS Word
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 16:09:07 +0100

Hi Laura,

> Does anyone have enough experience working with Word 2002 (or XP?) to
> know if an upgrade would simplify my life? I'm hesitant to upgrade
> unnecessarily, because one of my clients has given me proprietary
> editing software that, I'm told, becomes quirky when run off the newer
> versions of Word.

First off, you are not doing anything wrong. Master Documents is buggy. It
was buggy when introduced in Word 6.0, and has remained so though the
subsequent 13 versions and service packs. The feature can be safely used for
some purposes, just not for the one it was designed for - i.e. editing large
multi-chapter documents!

For the full gruesome details, take a look at these two articles.

Why Master Documents corrupt

How to recover a Master Document

>From the accounts I have heard, Word 2002 is a bit more stable, but not
sufficiently so that I would recommend deviating from the advice in those
two articles. The problem is the way in which the feature has been grafted
into the binary file format of Word, and probably won't be fixed entirely
unless & until Microsoft makes XML the default file format for Word. That
will happen sometime probably, but not soon enough to sort your immediate
problem :-)

Jonathan West

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Using master documents in MS Word: From: Laura J. Lockhart

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