Master document vs. normal document -- what is the difference?


please don’t take it as a stupid question right off…

what I mean:
you have a document and you insert sections, they will be chapters…
and these sections are other documents (sub documents) linked into this document…

so, as we know, master documents are invented to handle this situation,
however, any document can practically function like this, cause linking in documents works… creating sections also works…

so, is there a tangible difference?
is there a reason to opt for master document, instead of using a normal document as a “main” document, so to speak?

thanks very much in advance,


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As far as I know, it is simply about the Size and Overview of documents and their handling.

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I use normal documents as master-documents…
cause I studied the case at one point, and drew this conclusion…
I hope I’m not making a mistake…

am I? :slight_smile:

Can that help?
Master documents in Writer

English documentation

Not much difference, If you think of single books. But a master-document adds a new layer of Styles and Rules to apply them. So I can use a chapter “from ASCII to Unicode” with different styles in different books, without changes in the chapter, because the Style for the books are kept in master-files.

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hi Wanderer,

I thin what you say, although absolutely covers the case, can be also said of a normal document
which is being used as a master document…

in a “normal” document, used as a “main document”, the styles overwrite the subdocuments’…

(right now I cannot log in, but when I’m at my other machine, already logged in, I’ll thank you at your post)

thank you,

at which chapter should I look?
and what does it say there that will answer our question?

thank you

Based on a very simple experiment with a document with two sections with inserted linked documents: in the container document you can edit the text in the inserted sections (remove check mark in Read only on the Section dialog box), you can save the file, close it, re-open it and find that the edits have not been saved. You have to open the file yourself for editing. In a master document, you have to open a sub document for editing. So, it seems that the master document is no more than a safe interface that allows you to navigate through the documents and to more easily edit the sub-documents by using the master document navigator window.
I haven’t checked that the styles settings in a normal document with linked inserted files override the styles settings in the inserted documents, but it’s a fair bet that they do.

thank you very much,

I think my experiences match what you say! :slight_smile:
right now I cannot log in to my ask-LO account,
cause I’m using another machine,
but as soon as I can log in again, I’ll thank you :slight_smile: