Changing Subdocument Status

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 8, 2014)

1

Working with documents in a master and subdocument relationship can have its advantages, but there may be times when such a relationship is not exactly what you want. For instance, you may have a subdocument that represents standard boilerplate text you use in several master documents. If you need to make a custom version of the text for a particular document, making the changes to the subdocument won't yield the desired results. This is because any changes you make to the subdocument are reflected in the other master documents that include a reference to the subdocument.

Instead, you need to remove the subdocument and include its text directly within the master document that requires the specific and unique changes to the text. To accomplish this task, follow these steps:

  1. Open the master document and make sure that all your subdocuments are displayed.
  2. Switch to Outline view by clicking your mouse on the Outline view button in the lower-left corner of the screen or by choosing Outline from the View menu.
  3. Make sure your subdocuments are expanded. Word displays each subdocument with a box around it and an icon at the top left of the box.
  4. Position the insertion pointer somewhere within the subdocument whose status you wish to change.
  5. Click on the Remove Subdocument tool on the Outline toolbar.

At this point, the subdocument reference is removed, but the subdocument text remains. That text is now part of the master document, and you can change it without affecting the subdocument of which it used to be part. (It is interesting that Microsoft decided to call this tool "Remove Subdocument," since it does not literally do that.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (883) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Automatically Applying Custom Styles to Footnotes

Word is great in that it allows you to create styles that define how you want your text to appear. If you spend a great deal ...

Discover More

Formatting Datasheet Numbers

Controlling the appearance of numbers in a datasheet.

Discover More

Getting Rid of 8-Bit ASCII Characters

When working with data created outside of Excel, you may need to check that data to make sure it contains no unwanted ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Creating a Master Document Using Existing Subdocuments

If you decide to create a master document, it is easy to do by just adding one or more subdocuments to an existing document. ...

Discover More

Removing a Subdocument from a Master Document

Just as you can add subdocuments to a master document, you can remove them. Doing so is relatively easy, and it doesn't ...

Discover More

Headers and Footers in Subdocuments

If you use master and subdocuments, you may wonder how to control headers and footers in the subdocuments. This tip shares ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 8?

2015-06-05 10:04:22

Lyn Imeson

Note that the Remove Subdocument tool mentioned in step 5 above is actually called Unlink


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share