RE: MS Word File Size Limitation

Subject: RE: MS Word File Size Limitation
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 13:13:15 +0100

Hi Michael,

In my experience, using Master Documents is OK so long as you don't use them
for what Microsoft suggests you use them for, e.g. editing subdocuments open
within the master. When you do that, you are setting yourself up for all
sorts of document corruption. John McGhie has documented the issues
extensively here.

Why Master Documents corrupt

How to recover a Master Document

>From your post, I would guess you have experienced many of these problems,
and it looks like you have now restricted your use of Master Documents more
or less to document assembly. If you are successfully using it for more than
that, I would be fascinated to know about it.

On the basis that Master Documents aren't good for much beyond final
document assembly (with *copies* of documents, just in case some corruption
manages to creep in), I long ago decided to stick with older, surer ways of
doing document assembly of chapters written by dfferent authors. See this

Creating a Table of Contents Spanning Multiple Documents

That works for me, and I don't ever have to worry as to whether a master
document assembly has gone corrupt on me.

I've talked to the Microsoft developers responsible for the feature. They
have admitted to me that the feature was botched the first time it was
introduced (in Word 6), that they have over successive versions tried to
make it more robust, and that they have not entirely succeeded. Even in the
beta of Office 2007, according to reports I have had from Word MVPs, it is
fairly straightforward to repro a case where document corruption occurs in a
master document.

If you have found a way to handle Master Documents that works for you, then
fine and good luck!

Jonathan West


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FW: MS Word File Size Limitation: From: Harris, Michael

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