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Linking a whole document into another to act as a template. RRS feed

  • Question

  • My organization is trying something that I just can't figure out. They have typed out this long document (Template-1adult.dotx) made of sub-documents with the "document properties" fields inserted through them to act as fill-able fields for the end users. So, when the end user takes in a client, they can fill out the first page with information and it will auto fill the rest of the document for immediate printing. They have saved it as a template so it's a new document each time it's opened. I've understood up to this point.

    Now, they want to be able to expand this document by adding copies of the sub-documents into a new template (Template-2adult.dotx), possibly even more templates than that (3adult, 2adult1child, etc...). The administrator working on the project worries that a typo in one section would mean almost an hour of digging through each template to change one thing.

    So now I'm trying to find a way for them to break the larger document into its sub documents to then link into the templates. That way a change would only need to be made in one place but automatically be reflected across all the templates. I cannot find out how to do this though. I've tried adding in as an object, adding in as text, using autotext, special pasting, inserting as a field, and even the INCUDETEXT command. INCLUDETEXT came the closest especially keeping usable document property fields; I just didn't like how each text section would have to be manually updated. This would for sure be easier than our current method but I just want to see if there's any way to get functionality similar to INCLUDETEXT with the updating functionality of a linked file object?

    TLDR: Word 2019, linking multiple files into one file, sub-files have fill-able document property fields, single file auto updates changes to the sub-files. Doable?

    Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:37 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Based on my knowledge and research,  I can't figure out a better method than using INCUDETEXT field and manual update.

    I will keep paying attention the problem. To help you better solve it, I also suggest you ask question in Word for developers forum. Hope someone could point out if there was a way to use codes to figure it out.

    If you have any updates, feel free to post back to tell us. Your action would be helpful to other users who encounter the same issue and read this thread.

    Best Regards,

    Herb


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Click here to learn more. Visit the dedicated forum to share, explore and talk to experts about Microsoft Office 2019.

    Thursday, February 13, 2020 11:17 AM
  • Be very careful. Someone is likely to suggest using the Master Document / Subdocument features. You do not want to do this. (These are Word jargon terms.)

    See Master Documents "Feature"  and links therein.

    Look into AutoText and other Building Blocks for storing standard language and components.

    The Document Properties are but a subset of what you can do using Mapped Content Controls.

    "Template" is also a word of art or jargon in Word. Templates in Microsoft Word


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI


    Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:13 PM
  • I agree with Charles Kenyon, long-term use of Master and subdocuments is a time bomb. It will eventually get corrupted and you'll lose most or all of your subdocuments as well.

    What your company is trying to do would be better done with a database like Access that stores the document information, presents forms to be filled in, then spits out print documents. That would be a more robust solution that would be easier to maintain and update. And you won't have to close the business when your Master Document vaporizes.

    Friday, February 14, 2020 4:13 PM
  • Do note that, when using the INCLUDETEXT field pointing to a source document, the linked content can be updated from any of the target documents, as well as in the source document itself. To do this in a target document, simply make the edit and, with the INCLUDETEXT field still active, press Ctrl-Shift-F7. That avoids the need to go "digging through each template to change one thing". Depending on the competence of your users, though, this may be a blessing or a curse...

    The other thing you can do with the INCLUDETEXT field is to have it link to a bookmarked range in the source document. That way, different parts of the content in the source document can be linked to different parts of the target documents.


    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    • Proposed as answer by Charles Kenyon Thursday, February 20, 2020 11:24 PM
    Friday, February 14, 2020 9:29 PM
  • Hi,

    I am checking the status of this issue. Do you have any update for it?

    If the replies are helpful to this question, please remember to mark them as answers. Your action would be helpful to other users who encounter the same issue and read this thread. Thanks for your understanding.

    Anything unclear or any questions, feel free to post them back to let us know. I will be glad to follow up and help you.

    Best Regards,

    Herb


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Click here to learn more. Visit the dedicated forum to share, explore and talk to experts about Microsoft Office 2019.

    Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:30 PM
  • Hi,

    This thread has been around for a long time. Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. Your action would be helpful to other users who encounter the same issue and read this thread. 

    Thank you for understanding! If you have any questions, or updates, please feel free to let me know.

    Best Regards,

    Herb


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Click here to learn more. Visit the dedicated forum to share, explore and talk to experts about Microsoft Office 2019.

    Monday, March 9, 2020 1:46 AM