Re: Working with large documents in Word

Subject: Re: Working with large documents in Word
From: "Raj Machhan" <raj -dot- machhan -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 21:54:45 +0530

Hi Gene,

Thanks for your input. I am working on a System Design Document,and it
involves documenting the software architecture, the technologies used, a
detailed explaination about the application component inventory, intricate
diagrams, big tables, flowcharts, lists, samples of code, and a lot of other
complicated stuff. For example, I am required to flow Excel file data
into the Word document (No, I cannoy give a link or embed the Excel file,
because you cannot print these.)
To give you an idea about the size of the doc, it has a TOC that runs into
51 pages. I am using a custom template and have been applying the styles
with great care. However, everytime I open the doc I get to see strange
changes taking place: table cells get numbered on their own, the left
aligned text in the cells gets right aligned, the screenshots tend to get
bored occupting the same place and often change their position, styles get
applied automatically, TOC shows incorrect page numbers, auto save takes a
break, flowcharts start playing hide and seek,..... It takes me quite some
time to reach the end of the doc using the scroller, and all this time the
screen flickers and it appears as if I am headed for a crash.
I am working on MS Word 2003. The application, I guess, has developed a mind
of its own and I guess it does whatever it feels like as soon as I close the
I am using a pretty souped up machine with 2 GB RAM.


On 8/9/07, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
> There's no big trick to creating large documents in Word.
> Most of the things you have to watch out for are the sa
> things that cause headaches in small documents, such as
> templates magically updating themselves if you paste in
> content from other Word docs, the proliferation of rogue
> "styles" when you manually format, etc. And Word's
> master document function is especially unforgiving of
> inconsistent document configuration. Break the doc
> into smaller files so that when life happens (system
> crash, network crash, file corruption, etc.) the potential
> damage is limited.
> A bigger issue is why an 800 page document? I have
> never - and I mean *never* - seen a document with more
> than 200 pages that would not have been easier to read
> and use if it had been broken into smaller volumes. And
> I have seen potential customers of products and systems
> decide not to buy because they saw a massive tome for
> a user manual and concluded that anything that required
> a manuial that big must be overly complex. Whose idea
> was the 800 page document?
> Gene Kim-Eng
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Raj Machhan" <raj -dot- machhan -at- gmail -dot- com>
> > 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.

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Working with large documents in Word: From: Raj Machhan
Re: Working with large documents in Word: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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