Changing Subdocument Status

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2019)

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

Removing Leading Spaces in a Table

If you work with data imported from the Web or with documents prepared by others, you may have tables that have leading ...

Discover More

Wildcards in 'Replace With' Text

When doing searches in Excel, you can use wildcard characters in the specification of what you are searching. However, ...

Discover More

Counting Changed Words

Track Changes is a handy tool for those who need to see how a document changes over time. If you have a long document ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

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

Moving Master and Subdocuments

If you need to move master documents or subdocuments from one place to another on your computer, you have to keep in mind ...

Discover More

Understanding Master and Subdocuments

Most people use Word to create regular documents that you edit, view, and print. The program also allows you to create a ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 6 - 2?

2015-06-05 10:04:22

Lyn Imeson

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


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

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.