Troubleshoot master documents and subdocuments

Revising content

ShowI tracked changes in a subdocument, but I don't see revision marks.

ShowSubdocument buttons are unavailable on the Outlining toolbar.

  • Subdocuments might be collapsed in the master document      When the subdocuments are collapsed, some of the buttons on the Outlining toolbar are not available. To use the buttons, click Expand Subdocuments Button image on the Outlining toolbar.
  • Subdocuments might be locked      When a subdocument is locked, you cannot modify it.

Customizing formats and layout

ShowStyles look different in the expanded master document and individual subdocuments.

You can use different templates (template: A file or files that contain the structure and tools for shaping such elements as the style and page layout of finished files. For example, Word templates can shape a single document, and FrontPage templates can shape an entire Web site.) — or use different settings within the templates — for the master document and for individual subdocuments. When you view or print a subdocument as part of the expanded master document, Microsoft Word displays or prints the subdocument using the styles from the master document's template.

To view or print the subdocument using the styles from its original template, open the subdocument in its own window. If you want to use the same template for the master document and the subdocuments, attach the master document's template to each subdocument.

ShowWhen I print a master document, the wrong page numbers or headers and footers appear at the beginning of each section.

To use the same section (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.) formatting (such as page number, headers, or footers) throughout the entire master document, set the formats in the master document.

To change the page numbers, headers, or footers for an individual subdocument, open the subdocument and set the formats you want.

ShowWhen I view a master document, heading numbers don't appear.

You probably opened a subdocument and applied heading numbering to it. In this case, Microsoft Word attaches the heading numbering formats to the heading styles (heading style: Formatting applied to a heading. Microsoft Word has nine different built-in styles: Heading 1 through Heading 9.) or outline levels (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.) stored in the subdocument's template (instead of in the master document's template). When you view the subdocument as part of the expanded master document, Word displays the subdocument using the heading styles or outline levels from the master document's template. To view the subdocument using the heading styles or outline levels from its original template, open the subdocument in its own window. To apply heading numbering to the entire master document, do so within the master document.

ShowI can't view or print a graphic in a master document.

Updating cross-document references

ShowI can't link text boxes in my subdocuments.

You might be trying to link text boxes (text box: A movable, resizable container for text or graphics. Use text boxes to position several blocks of text on a page or to give text a different orientation from other text in the document.) that are in different subdocuments. To link text boxes in a master document, the text boxes must be in the same subdocument. Move or copy the text boxes to the same subdocument and try again.

ShowWhen I open a subdocument, some of the cross-references are replaced by "Error! Reference source not found." or "Error! Bookmark not defined."

To update cross-references to other subdocuments, you must work on the subdocuments from within the master document; you can't update such cross-references while working on an open subdocument. Close the subdocument, open the master document, and then expand the subdocuments. Select the text that contains the error messages, and then press F9 to update the cross-references.

ShowMy table of contents or index contains error messages instead of page numbers.

The table of contents or index is probably in a subdocument. To update such an index or table of contents, you must work on the subdocument from within the master document; you can't update it while working on it as an open subdocument. Close the subdocument that contains the table of contents or index, and then open the master document. Expand the subdocuments. Click anywhere in the table of contents or index, and then press F9 to update the page numbers.

Managing files

ShowWhen I created subdocuments, Word divided them at the wrong place.

When you create subdocuments, make sure that you select all of the text that you want to divide into subdocuments. The selection begins with the heading style or outline level you want to use to signify the beginning of each subdocument. Microsoft Word uses the first heading in the selection to determine where to create subdocuments. For example, if the selection begins with text formatted with the Heading 3 style, Word creates a new subdocument at each Heading 3 in the selection, even if the selection contains text formatted with the Heading 1 or Heading 2 style.

ShowI need to find the file name and location of each subdocument.

To view the file name and location of each subdocument, display the master document in outline view (outline view: A view that shows the headings of a document indented to represent their level in the document's structure. You can also use outline view to work with master documents.) and then collapse the subdocuments. The subdocument's hyperlink display text shows the file name and location. If part of the file name or location isn't visible on the screen, you can rest the pointer over the hyperlink display text; the file name and location appear in a pop-up window. If you want to rename or move a subdocument, you must do so by opening the document from within the master document and using the Save As command from within the subdocument.

ShowThe master document can't find or recognize the subdocument.

You or someone else may have renamed the subdocument from Microsoft Windows Explorer. When you rename or move a subdocument, you should do so from within the master document (that is, you should open the subdocument from within the master document and then rename the file).

ShowI can't see the master document toolbar buttons.

To display the master document toolbar buttons, click Master Document View Button image on the Outlining toolbar.

ShowI can't turn on or off master document view.

Opening or saving files

ShowWord won't save my master document and the subdocuments in it.

The maximum number of subdocuments allowed in a master document depends on the number of files you have open, the size of the files you have open, the number of programs you are running, the amount of computer memory, the operating system you are using, and other system configurations. If you reach this limit when you save the master document, Microsoft Word can't save your documents. You can:

  • Cancel saving the master document, close other programs, and then try saving again.
  • Convert some of the subdocuments into master document text, and then save the master document.
  • Use an INCLUDETEXT field to insert the contents of one subdocument into another.
  • Remove the subdocuments from the master document, and then save the master document.

You can then copy the text from the subdocuments into a regular Word document.

ShowWhen I saved my master document to a different folder, the subdocuments weren't saved with it.

To work with a master document and subdocuments in a new location, first do the following:

  1. Display the master document in outline view (outline view: A view that shows the headings of a document indented to represent their level in the document's structure. You can also use outline view to work with master documents.).
  2. Open the subdocument that you want to save to a new location. If the subdocuments are collapsed, click the hyperlink of the subdocument you want to open. If the subdocuments are expanded, double-click the subdocument icon Subdocument icon of the subdocument you want to open. If you cannot see the subdocument icon, click Master Document View Button image on the Outlining toolbar.
  3. On the File menu, click Save As.
  4. To save the copy in a different folder, click a different location in the Save in box, or click a different folder name in the folder list, or both.
  5. In the File name box, type a new name for the document.
  6. Click Save.
  7. On the File menu, click Close. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each subdocument, and then save the master document to the new location.

ShowI tried to open a master document or subdocument, but I see a message that the file is in use.

If the master document is stored on a network location, another user probably has the master document or subdocument open. If the document is in use, you may be able to open a copy of the document or open it read-only (read-only: A setting that allows a file to be read or copied, but not changed or saved. If you change a read-only file, you can save your changes only if you give the document a new name.), but you can't modify the original document. However, if you open a copy of the master document or open it read-only, you can still modify the subdocuments it contains (as long as the subdocuments are collapsed and the subdocuments are not in use).

ShowI opened a subdocument, but I can't make changes to it.

The subdocument is probably locked, which means that you can view the subdocument but you can't modify it. Note that when the subdocuments are collapsed, all subdocuments appear locked. Microsoft Word locks a subdocument in the following cases:

  • The master document is stored on a network location and another user opened the subdocument in order to view or edit it     If you try to unlock the subdocument, Word displays a message. When the other user closes the subdocument, you can unlock the document and start working on it.
  • The subdocument's author set a read-only file sharing option     If the author set the Read-only recommended option, you can modify the subdocument if you click No when you open the document. If the author set the Password to modify option, you can't modify the subdocument unless you know the password.
  • The master document is stored on a read-only file share     In this case, you can't unlock the subdocuments.

ShowI get the error message "The subdocument . . . is missing."

Microsoft Word cannot find the subdocument if any of the following is true:

  • You move the subdocument to a different location relative to the master document.
  • The subdocument is located on a network drive that is no longer valid.
  • You delete or rename the subdocument file.
 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003