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Hello R.

Le 04/02/2018 à 11:52, R. Diez a écrit :

A friend of mine writes datasheets and user manuals for many similar
devices with Microsoft Word 2010. Many sections (legalese, company logo,
some device features) are exactly the same across many documents.

Maintaining so many copies of the same text is a pain. If you want to
fix or enhance something, you have to manually update many copies in
many documents. Just to clarify: these are not just short database
fields, but complete text sections with subsections, full formatting, etc.

This is a quite common need. LibO Writer has a helper for that: linked sections.

In LibO Writer a Section is just that: a text portion which can be set differently from the other parts of the text. For instance, using a section allows to have a multi-columns part between full width text parts.

Here, we're using the section links possibilities.

1. Create a new document using Writer and put in it each an every recurring piece of text. Format that text exactly as you wish it to appear.
2. Enclose each piece of text within its own section:
-- select the text
-- menu Insert > Section
3. Give the section a nameful name and that's it (click Insert).
You notice that the section is surrounded with pale grey lines. When the cursor is in the section, the status bar shows the section name (on the right).

Save the document (probably better have it in some fixed place as it will be used as a reference by the others.)

Let's say its name is RefDoc.odt

Open a document which must contain some text part as the one stored in RefDoc.odt. Let's call it Target.odt.

Open Target.odt
1. Create an empty section here also.
Put the cursor in some empty paragraph, the Insert > Section
2. Give the section a nameful name
3. Go to the dialog Link area and check Link.
Use the Browse button and select RefDoc.odt created above.
4. In the Section list you see the list of the sections present in RefDoc.odt. Select the wanted section. Click Insert

You're done! The new Target.odt section now holds the reference text, including its formatting.

Note that the new section in Target.odt may be password protected. This might be of interest when manipulating legal documents for instance.

From now on, any change in the source RefDoc.odt sections text will be propagated to the linked section of the target documents.

Jean-Francois Nifenecker, Bordeaux

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