Working with Master Documents and Subdocuments

A master document lets you manage large documents, such as a book with many chapters. The master document can be seen as a container for individual \<item type=\"productname\"\>LibreOffice\</item\> Writer files. The individual files are called subdocuments.

To create a master document:

  1. Do one of the following:

  1. If you are creating a new master document, the first entry in the Navigator should be a \<emph\>Text \</emph\>entry. Type an introduction or enter some text. This ensures that after you edit an existing style in the master document, you see the changed style when viewing the subdocuments.

  2. In the \<emph\>Navigator\</emph\> for master documents (should open automatically, else press F5 to open), click and hold the \<emph\>Insert \</emph\>icon, and do one of the following:

  1. Choose \<emph\>File - Save\</emph\>.

To create a master document:

Use the Navigator for rearranging and editing the subdocuments in a master document.


To update an index in a master document, select the index in the Navigator, and then click the \<emph\>Update\</emph\> icon.

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When you insert an object like a frame or a picture into a master document, do not anchor the object "to page". Instead, set the anchor "to paragraph" on the \<emph\>Format - (Object type) - Type\</emph\> tab page, and then set the object's position relative to "Entire Page" in the \<emph\>Horizontal\</emph\> and \<emph\>Vertical\</emph\> list boxes.

To start each subdocument on a new page:

  1. Ensure that each subdocument starts with a heading that uses the same paragraph style, for example "Heading 1".

  2. In the master document, choose View - Styles, and click the Paragraph Styles icon.

  3. Right-click "Heading 1" and choose \<emph\>Modify\</emph\>.

  4. Click the \<emph\>Text Flow \</emph\>tab.

  5. In the \<emph\>Breaks \</emph\>area, select \<emph\>Insert\</emph\>, and then select \<emph\>Page \</emph\>in the \<emph\>Type \</emph\>box.

  6. If you want each subdocument to start on an odd page, select \<emph\>With Page Style\</emph\>, and select "Right page" in the box.

  7. Click \<emph\>OK\</emph\>.

To Export a Master Document

  1. Choose \<item type=\"menuitem\"\>File - Export\</item\>.

  2. In the Save as type list, select a text document file format and click Save.

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The subdocuments will be exported as sections. Use Format - Sections to unprotect and remove sections, if you prefer a plain text document without sections.

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