Office Tips & Tricks: Master documents in Word

Office Tips & Tricks: Master documents in Word

Using cell comments in Excel (20)

Do you work with long Word documents containing text pulled from different sub-documents? If so, did you know that in Word you can create a master document to make this process easier?


What is a master document?

A master document is essentially a ‘container’ for pointers (hyperlinks) to individual documents called sub-documents. When the sub-documents are opened within the master document, the sub-documents appear to be one long document.

A master document helps you more easily organise and maintain multiple sub-documents as a long document. With a master document, you can work with the entire long document or with any individual sub-document. Any Word document can be a master document or a sub-document.


Why should I bother to create a master document?

Working with a master document instead of individual Word documents makes it easier to do the following:

  • Move quickly to a location within multiple documents.
  • Reorganise multiple documents by moving headings.
  • See the latest changes to multiple documents without opening a series of individual files.
  • Create different arrangements of sub-documents; for example, sorted by author or by chapter.
  • Create cross-references among multiple documents.
  • Compile indexes, tables of contents, and similar lists for multiple documents.
  • Print multiple documents without opening a series of individual files.
  • Make all revisions within sub-documents, so that the entire master document does not have to be open.


So how do I create a master document?

To find step by step instructions for creating a master document, click here.

And once you’ve created your master document, find out how to edit or rearrange your master document by clicking here.

Did you find this Tip & Trick useful?

Why not let us know using the comments? And feel free to share our post with your colleagues.


Further support: NTU staff and students can visit the Office Central learning room for more help on using Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365/OneDrive by clicking here.  You will need to log in to NOW to view the learning room.  (Please note: Office Central is an internal resource only accessible by NTU staff and students).


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