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Is there a way to include a .odt file into another .odt file with auto-update when the included file changes? [closed]

asked 2014-04-08 11:05:13 +0200

tisra gravatar image

updated 2015-09-09 01:37:45 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

Version: LibreOffice 3.5.7.2 Build ID: 350m1(Build:2) on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise (64-bit)

I see 3 ways to include the content of one ODT file (File 1) into a second ODT file (File 2):

  1. Insert -> File. The content of File 1 is statically inserted inline into File 2 at current cursor location. User defined variables in File 1 get included in File 2. Future edits of File 1 have no further effect on File 2.

  2. Insert -> Object -> OLE Object -> Create from File. Without "Link to file" option. A current copy of File 1 is embedded as an OLE object in File 2 at current cursor location. User defined variables in File 1 are included in the embedded OLE object but do not get included in File 2. Future edits of File 1 have no further effect on the embedded OLE object in File 2.

  3. Insert -> Object -> OLE Object -> Create from File. With "Link to file" option. A current copy of File 1 is embedded as an OLE object in File 2 at current cursor location. User defined variables in File 1 are included in the embedded OLE object but do not get included in File 2. Future edits of File 1 are updated in the embedded OLE object in File 2 when the OLE object is edited.

It will be great to have an option 4 which is a combination of option 1 and option 3 above. The content of File 1 should be inserted into File 2 inline (not embedded as an OLE object). User defined variables in File 1 should get included in File 2 and be usable anywhere in File 2. The content of File 1 inserted in File 2 (and the user defined variables included from File 1 into File 2) should not be editable within File 2 (similar to a non-editable Index). However, future edits of File 1 (including changes in values of user defined variables there) should show up in File 2. The user may need to take an "Update included files" action (similar to "Update index") in File 2 to make the latest changes in File 1 show up in File 2.

The primary use case of this for me is to build a set of related documents that share a large set of user defined meta variables, for example, a set of project documentation consisting of many documents with a complex shared structure and info set up through user defined variables. The shared user variables may be defined in a blank include file which is included in all the files in the set. Any change in a user defined variable can be made in the include file and it automagically shows up in all the files.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-02-20 19:16:56.410624

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answered 2014-04-08 15:50:51 +0200

Regina gravatar image

You can use a Master document as target document. Then the variables, which has been set by "Set variable" in the sub-document, are known in the Master document. To update the Master document with changes in the sub-document, you can use the update feature of the Navigator of the Master document. Using this special Navigator you can edit the sub-document on the fly.

Or you use a similar technique, but without a Master document. That is, go to menu Insert > Section, click Link and chose the file with the ... button. In this case there is no special form of the Navigator, but you can update the document with menu Tools > Update. To make changes in the sub-document, you have to open it explicitly.

When reloading the document, you will be ask whether you want to update the document.

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I think this serves my purpose wonderfully. Thanks so much.

tisra gravatar imagetisra ( 2014-04-09 17:02:22 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2014-04-08 11:05:13 +0200

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Last updated: Apr 08 '14