[Solved] Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

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[Solved] Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby solicitr » Sat May 09, 2020 8:56 pm

Yes, I have read and re-read the guides and tutorials. Yes, I have defined, modified, renamed and otherwise spent hours monkeying with Styles.

No, I cannot get a Master Document to use ANY of my styles or formatting. It forces everything back into its own predefined formatting, and will NOT allow me to change it!

What can I do to fix this, except junk OO and go back to Micro$oft?

(Man, I miss Pagemaker and Quark)
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Mon May 18, 2020 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged solved
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby Villeroy » Sat May 09, 2020 9:03 pm

Simply use the software that works for you. Let me guess: You save master documents in doc format?
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 09, 2020 9:06 pm

Master Documents do work, but the newcomer to OpenOffice may find that it takes three or so substantial projects to get to grips with use of Styles etc in OpenOffice.

I have never found it necessary to use Master Documents, no matter how big the file - I'm thinking of files of perhaps a million words and several thousand pages.

But which program you chose to use for editing is your choice.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby solicitr » Sat May 09, 2020 9:10 pm

Unfortunately, without a MD I cannot use an index or table of contents, both of which I need.

No, I don't save the MD or anything else in .doc; I only ever convert if the recipient demands .doc format, and then only after I've completed everything in .odt
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby RoryOF » Sat May 09, 2020 9:23 pm

Why can you not insert a Table of Contents and an Index in an ordinary document? I certainly have a ToC in my current document, and could generate an Index if it was required in that document.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby solicitr » Sat May 09, 2020 9:34 pm

Well, this isn't an ordinary document.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby keme » Sat May 09, 2020 9:48 pm

Note that the master document will override styles in subdocuments.

When a style name used in a subdocument exists in the master document (which is true for all the predefined styles, which cannot be removed or renamed), the settings for that style in the subdocument will be ignored. All settings have to be made in the master document. A little confusing at first, but also quite useful.

When a subdocument has custom styles, and the style names are not present in the master, styles are imported from the subdocument.

If you have several subdocuments with custom styles using the same name but different settings, the first imported style takes precedence (I believe). This is not always the first file in the sequence. This is where it gets really confusing, and not so useful.

If you do not already do it, I suggest you set up all styles in the master, and avoid style import from subdocuments. It can get messy very quickly.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby John_Ha » Sun May 10, 2020 9:59 am

Master documents do work - the problem is that you don't understand how they work. I have successfully used them for ten years.

Have you seen Creating and Using Master Documents which says

Yes, master documents do work in OOoWriter. However, their use is full of traps for inexperienced users. Until you become familiar with the traps and how to avoid (or workaround) them, you may think that master documents are unreliable or difficult to use.

You can use several methods to create master documents. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Which method you choose depends on what you are trying to accomplish.The different methods are described in this document, along with suggestions on when to use each one.

Upload a set of small example files and explain precisely the problem.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun May 10, 2020 10:32 am

I think that the first thing to do is start from a document that will be a sub-document. High chances that it contains all the required styles (especially if standard styles but customized). Then make a copy of it and export it as a MD. Then remove the unwanted content and add the sub-documents.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby John_Ha » Sun May 10, 2020 10:43 am

Note that there are different methods of using master documents. Creating and Using Master Documents says:

The ideal situation is to start with no existing documents, because you can do everything correctly right from the beginning. Writer provides three ways to create a master document:

● Method 1. Quick and easy, but not recommended
● Method 2. Not too complicated, but with restrictions
● Method 3. Complete control

In each case, you need to have a disciplined approach to make sure the master document works correctly and reliably. Each method below describes the steps to take. Be sure to do them in the order given.

Which method are you using?

solicitr wrote:Well, this isn't an ordinary document.

Never forget that you can export a master document and its sub documents as a single .odt file in which case it is an ordinary document.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby solicitr » Sun May 10, 2020 3:26 pm

All right, I think I've found a method that seems to work. In the subdocuments, copy and rename each pre-loaded Style used (e.g. copy Default and rename My Default). Import subdocs into the Master; these "custom" styles will not be overridden.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby John_Ha » Sun May 10, 2020 3:38 pm

solicitr wrote:All right, I think I've found a method that seems to work. In the subdocuments, copy and rename each pre-loaded Style used (e.g. copy Default and rename My Default). Import subdocs into the Master; these "custom" styles will not be overridden.

You seem to have your thought process the wrong way round. Essentially, the Master Document styles over-ride any sub-document styles. The clue is in the word "Master".

A tip for you.

1. Set up the styles you want in the Master.
2. Make sure any sub-document uses the identical styles and page format.

The benefit is that a sub document never changes when it is brought in to the master so you can do final layout and formatting in the sub document knowing you will see exactly the same in the master.

Showing that a problem has been solved helps others searching so, if your problem is now solved, please view your first post in this thread and click the Edit button (top right in the post) and add [Solved] in front of the subject.
Last edited by John_Ha on Sun May 10, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun May 10, 2020 3:42 pm

solicitr wrote:All right, I think I've found a method that seems to work. In the subdocuments, copy and rename each pre-loaded Style used (e.g. copy Default and rename My Default). Import subdocs into the Master; these "custom" styles will not be overridden.

No need if you start your MD from a sub-document to make sure the styles are the same.
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Re: Master documents DO NOT WORK!!!

Postby John_Ha » Sun May 10, 2020 3:53 pm

John_Ha wrote:The benefit is that a sub document never changes when it is brought in to the master so you can do final layout and formatting in the sub document knowing you will see exactly the same in the master.

Apart from this confirmed bug Issue 127205 - Additional space added in Master document which is not present in the sub document and is equal to 'Paragraph > Spacing > Gap to Top border'
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