Recently I tried to use the master documents feature. (In the end, I
gave up because it's pointless if there's lots of direct formatting and
you need to change font sizes for the different versions.)
I hope this feedback will be useful to someone.
p356: Lack of clarity about whether toggle is of a view of the document
or just the navigator window itself (it's the latter)
"If you are starting a new project, create the master document and all
the subdocuments from the same template."
Need to clarify what is meant by template docs. Is there such a thing as
a template version of a .odm file, as there is (.ott) for a .odt file?
Needs to clarify how to create a master document that contains the
styles you want - since if the styles are not in the master document,
the style definition will come from the first document inserted that
provides that style.
So, also need to clarify whether the style is then a property of the
master doc or the subdoc.
No scenario for my use case:
You have one existing document from which you wish to produce variant
versions (e.g. different page sizes), with most content shared.
I also discovered that File>Send>Create Master Document has no option to
avoid creating a plethora of unwanted files, as the minimal split is at
the chapter level. The workaround for this is to create a copy of the
file, delete all but one chapter, and use that to create the master
document - as the first step.
Not obvious how to create a 'template' master document you could use for
a series of books, because it's not obvious whether the .odm should have
associated template .odt files (or .ott files?), or just text on
appropriate pages saying "Insert your <which subdoc file needed> here".
E.g. in my case I need four master docs structured like this:
Title (cover) page
Common subdoc Title
(/if /it can adapt to diff. page sizes)
Publishing details w. ISBN
In each master doc x 4
Common subdoc Ack
Pbks: Common subdoc NovelsBy
eBooks: In each master doc x 2
Common subdoc Body
Other books, please review links
Pbks: Common subdoc EndLinks
eBooks: In each master doc x 2
Common subdoc SampleN+1
p358: Wrong instructions for creating a template
Step 2 instructs: "You can create a template from an existing document
or template that contains some or all of the
page, paragraph, character, and other styles you want for this
document[...]. Be sure to use File > Save As Template when creating the
a) There is no File>Save as Template. There is a File>Save As which
allows you to choose the type .ott for template. This is a very
plausible interpretation of the instructions. I suspect it's wrong
(because if you try to open a template you create that way using the
instructions in Step 3, you can't). Step 3 says: "Open a new document
from the template you created in Step 2, by choosing File > New
>Templates, then selecting the template you created."
b) Chapter 10 describes the correct process: Use File>Templates>Save As
p364: Restart page numbering
It says "On the Outline & Numbering tab, set the Outline level to Level
1 (Figure 370). This
ensures that the heading will appear in the Table of Contents along with
the other chapter
headings. The Numbering Style for this heading is None, as it was not
assigned an outline
level through the Outline Numbering dialog."
The last part seemed counter-intuitive to me, so I ignored it and let
the new chapter heading para style have numbering enabled just like the
style it inherited from.
p366: Changing the appearance of the master document
"Do not make changes to styles in the master document or in any of the
subdocuments; make those changes in the
Again, it's not clear what is meant by "the template", although it is
starting to sound increasingly like it means a literal .ott file. In
which case there needs to be better guidelines about how to create a
non-template doc from a template doc. (How to create a normal doc
instance from a template doc.)
Enhancement requests needed to make workable master docs:
p367: When you see a Caution box and above it a note that says "The
process to create cross-references between subdocuments is time
consuming, but it works", you know there's a missing feature.
Ref p370: Need an option to export a normal, editable.odt file instead
of a write-protected one.
Ref p371: When master doc imports a subdoc and a page has images
anchored to the page, the anchor should be automatically changed to
either the corresponding page in the master doc (preferable), or if that
is not technically possible, then the anchor type should be changed to
anchor the image to the nearest paragraph above the image on the page.
p358 Create subdocuments
Create a subdocument by opening a blank document based on the project
template by File>New>Templates, picking the required template. Then save As.
Also discovered there is no information about how to add multiple Text
sections to a master document, even though several of the illustrations
show master documents with more than one. Older help documents
say there should be an "Insert - Text" option if you right click in the
master document's Navigator pane. There is no such menu item.
Master doc: you can't trust the Font or size fields in the master doc.
E.g. it said the text of the subdoc was Georgia 9pt, but if there's
direct formatting, it's formatted as per the DF, not what the document
para style says it should be.
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- [libreoffice-documentation] Feedback on Master Documents ch of WG 6.4 · Luke (gmail)
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