Creating a master doc in Word? (Take III)

Subject: Creating a master doc in Word? (Take III)
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 15:40:30 -0400

Chris Anderson observed: <<I think the negative comments are more related to
fear, WORD bashing and user error.>>

Don't forget that the links I posted came from the Word MVPs site. These are
hardly people who fear word, bash it, or make lots of errors in their
advice. But let's take each in turn from my perspective:

Fear: Yes, I fear Word--as the saying goes, "Word happens", and it's not
always clear why. <g> But I love the power of the software, and having come
to understand its greater and lesser weirdnesses through ongoing
hand-to-hand combat, I now use it exclusively for my writing. Wouldn't use
anything else, in fact.

Bashing: I don't bash Word, though I do frequently diss it in a loving kind
of way. I also have no hesitation about pointing out its weaknesses. Anyone
care to mention autonumbering?

User error: I'd be the last one to say that software users don't make
errors. That's always a possibility.

<<Other people say "Don't use Master Docs". Ok, so what is your solution
for producing a 1,300 page product in WORD?>>

As noted in my original post, use RD fields--much more reliable, or (if you
prefer), at least less vulnerable to user errors. Check the archives for

<<So, assume you have to use word to produce a large document.>>

It wouldn't be my first choice for really long and gnarly projects, but I've
written a couple novel-length books in Word quite successfully. One simple
trick I've also used is to break the single massive file into several
smaller files (chapters). Works like a charm.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
(try ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca if you get no response)
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"It's one thing to see death coming at the hands of your own creation.
That's part of the human epic tradition, after all. Oedipus and his father.
Baron Frankenstein and his monster. William Henry Gates and Windows
'09."--David Brin, _Kiln People_


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