Create a master document and subdocuments

To create a master document (master document: A "container" for a set of separate files (or subdocuments). You can use a master document to set up and manage a multipart document, such as a book with several chapters.), you start with an outline and then you create new subdocuments or add existing documents to it.

Decide on a location for your documents

  1. In Microsoft Windows Explorer, designate a folder that you can use to store your master document and subdocuments.
  2. If you want to use existing Microsoft Word documents as subdocuments, move these existing documents into the folder.

Create the master document

Do one of the following:

ShowOutline a new master document

  1. Click New Blank Document Button image on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).
  2. On the View menu, click Outline.
  3. Type headings for the document title and each subdocument. Make sure to press ENTER after typing each heading.

Word formats the headings with the built-in heading style (heading style: Formatting applied to a heading. Microsoft Word has nine different built-in styles: Heading 1 through Heading 9.) Heading 1.

  1. Assign a heading style to each heading (for example, use Heading 1 for the title and Heading 2 for each subdocument). To do this, use the buttons on the Outlining toolbar:
    • Click Promote Button image to increase the heading level.
    • Click Demote Button image to decrease the heading level.

ShowConvert an existing document to a master document

  1. Open the document that you want to use as your master document.
  2. On the View menu, click Outline.
  3. Assign a heading style (heading style: Formatting applied to a heading. Microsoft Word has nine different built-in styles: Heading 1 through Heading 9.) to each heading (for example, use Heading 1 for the title and Heading 2 for each subdocument). To do this, use the buttons on the Outlining toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.):
    • Click Promote Button image to increase the heading level.
    • Click Demote Button image to decrease the heading level.
  4. As necessary, for any content that is not a heading, select the content and click Demote to Body Text Button image on the Outlining toolbar.

Add subdocuments to the master document

Do one or both of the following:

ShowCreate a subdocument from an outline heading

You must have a master document outline to create a subdocument from an outline heading.

  1. On the View menu, click Outline.
  2. In the master document, select the headings and text you want to separate into subdocuments.

Make sure that the first heading in the selection is formatted with the heading style (heading style: Formatting applied to a heading. Microsoft Word has nine different built-in styles: Heading 1 through Heading 9.) or outline level (outline level: Paragraph formatting you can use to assign a hierarchical level (Level 1 through Level 9) to paragraphs in your document. For example, after you assign outline levels, you can work with the document in outline view or in the Document Map.) you want to use for the beginning of each subdocument. For example, if the selection begins with Heading 2, Word creates a new subdocument at each Heading 2 in the selected text.

  1. On the Outlining toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Create Subdocument Button image.

Word inserts a continuous section break (section break: A mark you insert to show the end of a section. A section break stores the section formatting elements, such as the margins, page orientation, headers and footers, and sequence of page numbers.) before and after each subdocument.

 Notes 

  • If the Create Subdocument button isn't available, you need to first click Expand Subdocuments Button image.
  • After you add a subdocument to a master document, do not move or delete it unless you first remove it from the master document.
  • Rename a subdocument only from within the master document.

ShowInsert an existing Word document into a master document

  1. Open the master document (master document: A "container" for a set of separate files (or subdocuments). You can use a master document to set up and manage a multipart document, such as a book with several chapters.) and click Outline on the View menu.
  2. If the subdocuments are collapsed, click Expand Subdocuments Button image on the Outlining toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).
  3. Click where you want to add the existing document.

Make sure to click a blank line between existing subdocuments.

  1. On the Outlining toolbar, click Insert Subdocument Button image.
  2. In the File name box, enter the name of the document you want to add, and then click Open.

Microsoft Word inserts a next page section break (section break: A mark you insert to show the end of a section. A section break stores the section formatting elements, such as the margins, page orientation, headers and footers, and sequence of page numbers.) before the subdocument and a continuous section break after it.

Save the master document

  1. On the File menu, click Save As.
  2. Select the location you designated at the beginning of this procedure, type a file name for the master document, and then click Save.

Word automatically assigns a file name to each new subdocument based on the first characters in the subdocument's heading in the master document outline. For example, a subdocument that begins with the outline heading "Chapter 1" might be named "Chapter 1.doc."

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003