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Writer support master documents since many a year. Open your favourite
template and go to File -> Send -> Master document: an .odm file will
be created. Just create your subdocuments from the same template and
you will be ok. Inside the master document and using the navigator
(open it with F5), you will be able to insert your subdocuments and
the styles defined on the master will have priority over the others.
Maybe it have some issues, but it works and I already used it several times.

2010/11/29 BRM <>:
I never joined the OOo mailing lists so it never got proposed there, and if
there's a better TDF mailing list to post this to then please let me know so I
may do so. I did, however, try to submit something to the ODF folks; but that
never got any where.

I've worked on proposals and similar kinds of documents in the past - where you
split a single document up among a number of people, each writing a section, and
have one person in charge of re-integrating everything again. Frankly, I'm quite
surprised that Word doesn't have better support there - but that just means
opportunities for OOo/LO and other F/OSS software. Please point me at how to do
this in LO/OOo if this already exists, but essentially I'd like to do the

1. Create a master document (A.odt)
2. Create a master outline in the master document (A.odt - outline)
3. Create a sub-document (A.sub1.odt) from the master document with permission
to only edit a certain section of the master outline.
4. Repeat #3 for each section of the outline as desired.
5. Join all sub-documents as the single master document - e.g. the many
documents are viewable as a single document.
6. Apply a master set of formatting styles from the master document, overriding
any formatting styles in the sub-documents.

I kind of see this playing out in the files as follows:

A. Each sub-document is its own file (ODT, etc.)
B. LO/OOo Writer would generate the sub-documents from the master document
C. When re-integrating the sub-documents, they would simply become part of the
master document - the ODT/etc would be embedded into the ODT of the master
document and a file reference would be provided to reference it; perhaps a
master index.xml file would be used for linking everything.

The ultimate goal is to have discreet modules of the document that can be handed
out for others to write; they don't necessarily need to even have the outline
from the master document - though they might. Each discreet module would then be
seamlessly integrated back into the master document by simple linking - with the
outline of the master document taking precedence. For example, the master
document has 3 sections; each section (I, II, and III) are pushed out as
discreet modules for others to write. Each writer sees an outline starting at
one (I, 1, A, etc.) and writes their piece. When the document it relinked back
into the master document, its internal outline then becomes the outline under
the specified section. This should be possible to do recursively - e.g. the
writer of a section II generates an outline II.A, II.B, II.C and does the same

I'm pretty sure that the ODF format can support this.

If OOo/LO cannot do this now, then that would be a great enhancement that could
really help many in their work flows for developing proposals and any other kind
of documents that are farmed out among a team in an organization like that.


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