Re: Working with large documents in Word

Subject: Re: Working with large documents in Word
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 13:41:01 +0100

On 09/08/07, Raj Machhan <raj -dot- machhan -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I will get straight to the point. I understand MS Word is more of a word
> processor than a publishing tool. But since it is widely available, a
> number of companies are now using it for documentation, for print as well
> the Web.
> I am presently working on a large document, already 800 pages and more to
> come, using MS Word. The application, however, is getting quirkier by the
> hour as I add new content. Has anyone been through this? It would be a big
> help if you could share your experience.

Word can work perfectly well with documents up to 2-3000 pages in a single
file, but you have to treat it nice. In other words, you have to take as
much care over your document design in Word as you would be forced to do
when making the equivalent document in Framemaker.

First thing you must do is define a set of styles for your template, and use
the styles as far as possible rather than using manual formatting. If you
decide later to change the layout, all you need do is redefine the styles,
and if the text has been formatted using styles, it instantly changes to

These articles will help you if you are not familiar with templates

Creating a Template - The Basics (Part I)

Creating a Template (Part II)

Once you have defined your styles, this article may help you with
remembering to use them

Creating Custom Toolbars for Templates

Second, if you use bullets and numbering, you must define styles with
numbering and use the styles. Don't apply numbering as manual formatting by
means of the Bullets and Numbering dialog. There are some useful articles on
numbering here

Word's numbering explained

If you get to the point where the document really is too big to fit in one
file, but you still want all the pages consecutively numbered and to have a
single Table of Contents for the whole thing, take a look at this article.

Creating a Table of Contents Spanning Multiple Documents

Jonathan West


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