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How to get multiple Office docs into one unified document
June 8, 2005 10:16 AM   Subscribe

My workplace has developed a training curriculum using various Office documents. I need to figure out a way to 'bind' them into one large document...

Using Word seems like a nightmare, and we also don't have any luck using Publisher. Is there something obvious that I'm missing? What we need is to put multiple documents into one large file, give them a consistent look, and repaginate the documents so the pagination makes sense relative to this larger document.

Word frequently crashes, or has odd formatting errors, and Publisher doesn't handle the PowerPoint 'notes' view.

I've tried googling, but I'm not having good luck, because I can't reduce what I'm looking for in just a few words. Am I looking for a professional desktop publishing software?

Please be gentle..this is my first attempt at AskMetafilter.
posted by FloryTric to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
why not a PDF?
you can print the individual office documents to Postscript files and then comine the multiple postscripts into a PDF. If you need further instruction, let me know. All free software, no Acrobat needed.
posted by cosmicbandito at 10:27 AM on June 8, 2005


Well, you can use Microsoft Binder, but unfortunately it's not supported by Office XP. It's great for this and exists for exactly your circumstance. If you don't run Office XP, Binder may work for you; alternately, I've read that you can install Binder from an old Office CD.
posted by littlegreenlights at 11:01 AM on June 8, 2005


From experience, you CAN use Binder from an old Office 2000 CD (Schedule+ and Publisher, too, if that's to your liking), and it will install fine beside Office XP.
posted by chota at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2005


It sounds like you should take a look at the Master Document feature in Word.

From Word help:
A master document is a document that contains a set of related documents. Use a master document to organize and maintain a long document by dividing it into smaller, more manageable subdocuments. For example, use a master document to organize chapters of a book.
posted by andrewraff at 11:51 AM on June 8, 2005


While I had thought Master Documents were standard-level of Word bugginess, and had suggested them in a previous thread on the subject, dbmcd strongly cautioned against them and they are apparently very good ways to lose your work. So just in case he doesn't make it to this thread, you might want to watch out for them and make backups of your documents before trying them.

I still haven't had problems with them, but the number of complaints I've seen all over suggests that I was a special case and I no longer use them.
posted by ontic at 1:45 PM on June 8, 2005


Without more specifics as to what kinds of documents you are trying to combine, it's hard to determine exactly what will work, but I think that Word is in fact your best bet. In PowerPoint, you can 'send' slides to Word (File -> Send To -> Microsoft Word), which will simply create a Word doc with the info from PP. You have 4 or 5 choices as to what exactly gets sent and how.

If you have Excel docs, you can insert them as objects in Word (Insert -> Object) so that they remain editable. If you would prefer them to not be editable, you can copy the info in Excel and then use Word's Paste Special feature to add them in as pictures (which works particularly nicely for Excel charts.)

Once you have everything into Word, reformatting and paginating is pretty simple.

BTW, while a PDF will sort of work with this, you can't do much vis-a-vis formatting, and the header and footer "feature" in Acrobat frankly blows.
posted by robhuddles at 10:26 PM on June 8, 2005


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