An opinion: A large document, or a technical document that receives a lot of minor changes, is best organized as a multi-file Master Document. Take as given that I want chunks of my document in separate (.odt) files.
I also want to be able to do the following, which seems to me at least, to be basic things that a lot of people creating technical documents will want to do:
- Number headings and subheadings with prefixes that look like: 1, 1.1, 1.1.1 and when an .odt file is included in a master document, have that numbering re-calculated.
- Have the text (preferably without the number) of level-1 headings appear in the headers of it's pages (having level-1 headings start on a new page can be handled automatically or manually, it's no big deal)
- Have the number of the level-1 headings appear as a prefix to the page number in the page footers (so page 4 in section 7 appears as 7-4).
- Have a modification date appear in the footer of pages that have been modified. In my case the sections are relatively short and I have no issue with the modification date applying to all pages in the modified section.
I have created such a document, but there are all sorts of problems.
- When opening the Master Document, it asks about updating links. Clearly one wants any changes that have been made to included files to be picked up — that is the whole purpose of using a Master Document. However, the result appears to muck up the document — the section/chapter titles in the page headers and the section number prefixes in the footers show up, essentially, as broken references and the text in the footer that represents the modification is munged in the "first" page of each section.
- When making changes to styles (using the template), they have to be applied to the individual files (if one wants to be able to work with those separately from Master Document and not have funny things happen), but that causes the same unwanted modifications and errors to appear in the individual .odt files.
Is the Master Document implementation just immature (i.e. recent functionality)? Has it always been buggy? Does anyone use it on a day-to-day basis?
I don’t mind jumping through hoops once to set up a document; I do not want to have to do that every time I want to make minor changes to a document — either the text or styles (including page styles).