3. Master documents
A master document is a utility within a word processing package which allows several sub-documents to be combined into one.
Think about the production of a text book. The chapters might be written by a team of authors who might be working in different offices or from home. In order to ensure that the layout of their pages are consistent, they will use a template.
However, when it is time to assemble the book, each chapter is still in the form of lots of separate files or sub-documents. The master document is able to combine these individual files or sub-documents into one central document.
The master document can also be used to generate the table of contents and the index for the book.
Master documents can be used for other things such as assembling the annual company report from a set of sub-documents written by individual departments, i.e. finance department, sales department, customer service department etc.
The master document will make use of a template which can centrally control the formatting and style of the sub documents. When a change is made to the master document template, the change will be propagated throughout all the sub documents.
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