Re: MS Word outpaced by a snail

Subject: Re: MS Word outpaced by a snail
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 10:43:11 -0700

Peter Boothby writes...
> I am trying to put together some manuals using Word 6.0. One manual
> is about 360 pages and contains 240 screen dumps (TIFF format) and various
> illustrations from Canvas. I followed Microsoft's advice and attempted to use
> master documents. My machine crashed, strange temp files appeared, the master
> document tool showed weird symptoms, the machine was outpaced by a snail
> walking by (I have a pentium 90 with 16 meg), and the whole experience was
> like rowing
> an overloaded boat across the north sea, taking in water now and again
> having to
> to be very careful not to capsize. Not to mention the 'saves' - go to the
> toilet, take
> a walk around the building, drink two cups of coffee and come back.

> I have given up on master documents, almost given up on Microsoft support
> ("well sir, perhaps you should make your documents smaller"),
> and am considering giving up Word. Am I flogging a dead horse or ......


The reason you're having so much trouble with Master Documents
is that this feature foolishly uses one file handle for each
graphic embedded in your doc. When I tried Master Docs, I ran
out of file handles in about 6 pages. Although Master Docs
would be nice if it worked, you can do without it and produce
a manual just the same. Others will tell you to give up on
Word, but it'll do the job for you -- and provide some features
that DTPs don't do well (like outlining, autocorrect, autotext,

Step 1 is to divide your document into manageable chunks. I
generally make each chapter its own doc. Set the page numbers
to all begin at 1 if you're using chapter-based numbering, or
set everything to "continue".

Use heading level styles to mark entries that you want in your
TOC and embed you index entries in the usual way. Don't use a
whole lot of cross-refs (or at least don't be too specific). I
usually stick with "see xxxxx in Chapter y".

Create your own master document by creating a new doc and
filing it with RD statements. You'll find RD on the Insert
menu (Codes I think) - and RD is under index and TOC codes.

Each RD statement includes complete or relative path to one
of the documents in the book (in order). When you're ready
to generate your book, open your "master" doc, run the TOC,
run the Index, and print. The TOC and Index will appear in
your "master" doc.

You'll find more info on RD and other codes in and around
the mail merge section of the Word manual.

Hope this helps.

Sue Gallagher
StarBase Corp, Irvine CA
sgallagher -at- starbasecorp -dot- com

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