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search/replace in master documents

 
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eNG1Ne
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:41 pm    Post subject: search/replace in master documents Reply with quote

Simple question - can I start from a master documetn and search/replace through all its components?

If not, any hints/tips for a workaround would be welcome.
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ftack
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am afraid no. By design, subdocs in a master doc are read-only. Otherwise, there would be no real point in having the master doc feature. The main goal of the master doc feature is to be capable to manage a very large document using several smaller files that require less memory and load and save faster than one enromous document would. For anything else, for example, composing different documents reusing the same portions of text, there are other tools like linked sections or conditional text.

One way to do one global search replace could be to temporarily convert the master doc to one regular doc, but the procedure is somehow tedious, requiring you to remove all sections that compose the subdocs (see Help "Using Master Documents and Subdocuments"). Afterwards, the doc can again be converted to a master doc using File - Send - Create master doc. Probably, it's safer to open the different subdocs and preform the searches in the subdocs. When you record the actions in a macro the first time, it will be easy to repeat the actions in other subdocs.
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eNG1Ne
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> By design, subdocs in a master doc are read-only.

Hm - that's a question of design, though: look at FrameMaker (or even the late but much lamented BookMaster), where a .book file contains only pointers to the sub-files. I feel this is a more elegant approach than having a huge "virtual" file with the content of the whole book _and_ then all the sub-files as well.

Perhaps some attentive OOo developer will take this idea on board.
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ftack
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The master doc do not contain the content of the subdocuments: they only contain links. You can tell by te file size, but you also zould open a master doc and answer not to update the links: no content will be available.
Technically, the subdocuments are inserted as write protected, linked sections. You *can* indeed unprotect a subdocument and apply changes. These changes, however, are lost when closing the master doc, as the contents of the linked sections are not saved with the master doc. OOo does not include a mechanism to automatically save each of the subdocuments in separate files from within the master doc, which probably is a good design in terms of maintaining the integrity of the subdocuments.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There could actually be an advantage in making it possible to edit subdocuments in a master document.
It's much easier and intuitive because multiple documents look and feel like one document and that is the intention of master- and subdocuments right??? (now they only look as one)

In the design it can be made so that only one person at a time can edit a subdocument or the content in the masterdocument, from the masterdocument. In this way if you're working with two or more, you can still keep the integrity of the subdocuments and there is an overview always available for everybody.


The changes should be saved in the subdocuments when made in the masterdocument.
When working on a subdocument you want to be able to go to the other content, the content in the other subdocuments.
In a masterdocument is the content visible and should be updated when the subdocuments are changed.

OOo should have a mechanism that does save the content of masterdocuments in subdocuments.

(The only actual change is that the content of subdocuments will not anymore have to be edited in another window)

(For system requirements, OOo could also just only load the page you're viewing and the pages in the neighbourhood, in this way, even huge files won't ask a lot of power and resources.)
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foxcole
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dudeson20 wrote:
There could actually be an advantage in making it possible to edit subdocuments in a master document.
It's much easier and intuitive because multiple documents look and feel like one document and that is the intention of master- and subdocuments right??? (now they only look as one)

I don't understand what point you're trying to make here. The point of a master document is to control the appearance of styles and formatting. It is not an editing tool, but you can use the Navigator to open and edit a sub document, then update it right away in the master. Keeping the master-document/sub-document relationship separate allows users to apply different style appearances in the subs, as needed, yet have them look unified in the master.

I write manuals in which the chapters can be distributed individually, so they don't require numbered headings on the chapter titles, for example, and they use different header and footer content than the full manual. If you edit a sub document directly from the master, how would Writer know which style definitions to use? By editing the sub documents in separate windows, Writer automatically uses the styles defined in the sub document, and no conflicts arise.

Once the sub document and master document relationship is understood, it becomes very simple and logical... and it is user-friendly enough through the power of the master document view in the Navigator.
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floris_v
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Replacing styles wouldn't make sense in a master document - but what if you want to replace text across all files in a master doc? You could implement a batch procedure to open all sub documents and perform the replace action(s) in them.
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dudson
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

foxcole wrote:
dudeson20 wrote:
There could actually be an advantage in making it possible to edit subdocuments in a master document.
It's much easier and intuitive because multiple documents look and feel like one document and that is the intention of master- and subdocuments right??? (now they only look as one)

I don't understand what point you're trying to make here. The point of a master document is to control the appearance of styles and formatting. It is not an editing tool, but you can use the Navigator to open and edit a sub document, then update it right away in the master. Keeping the master-document/sub-document relationship separate allows users to apply different style appearances in the subs, as needed, yet have them look unified in the master.

I write manuals in which the chapters can be distributed individually, so they don't require numbered headings on the chapter titles, for example, and they use different header and footer content than the full manual. If you edit a sub document directly from the master, how would Writer know which style definitions to use? By editing the sub documents in separate windows, Writer automatically uses the styles defined in the sub document, and no conflicts arise.

Once the sub document and master document relationship is understood, it becomes very simple and logical... and it is user-friendly enough through the power of the master document view in the Navigator.


I see, thought it would be more complicated to switch from master to sub than the handy trick you mentioned.
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