Whether you are student or a worker, we will never escape some kind of group work. Particularly, if you are information worker like Secretaries, Public Relations officers and etc, at some stage in the line of duty, are required to compile a document with written pieces of work done by other members of the group or sources. So the frequently asked question is: How can I combine all these different documents into one master file with ease, without having to apply the traditional method of “Copy and Paste”. Well, with Microsoft Office 2016 Word, we can easily do that. So here are the steps.
Step 1: Delegate the different components or write-ups among the group members.
If the task is a group work, delegate the different parts to each of the group members. If it’s a student research project, each section can have two or three members. Let them go head and do the write-up. For example, certain members can do the literature review part, others can do the introduction and background, while others can do the data collection and analysis. From time to time, members can have a group meeting to update each other and share workload if necessary.
Step 2: Create the Document Outline for the Master document.
Once, the group members have completed their delegated parts write-ups completed, it;s time to create the master file document structure. Important documents such as research papers, project papers and various reports, your document structure is very important because, the headings and sub-headings of the document will form the Table of contents, which is the first thing a reader will look at before he/she commits his/her time reading the rest of the document. Therefore, it important to get the structure right before content is inserted into the whole structure. For how to create a document structure and insert an automated table of contents in word, read this separate post How To Insert an Automated Table of Contents in Word Document.
For example, a typical student Research Essay major paper would look like this. Each main headings should have some sub and sub-sub headings
- Literature Review
- Sub-topic 1
- Sub-topic 2
- Findings and Analysis
Create this structure by clicking on the View==>Outline and start typing in your structure. Then set the different heading levels. Headings can be promoted, demoted and converted to Body text using the green Promote and Demote commands. Also, the headings can be rearranged using the Up or Down command buttons. See figure 1.
Figure 1-Document Outline view.
Step 3: Insert the different Document Files into the Master File/Document.
When the structure is in place, it’s time to insert the content prepared by the different members of the group. Collect completed files and put them in one main folder so it’s easy to do the insertions from one file location.
- Insert the cursor in the place where you want to insert the contents. For example, it’s a introduction, go to the Introduction heading, press Enter on keyboard to get to the next line and then do the following.
- Click Insert==>Objects==>From Text File… under the Text command group. This will show the Insert File dialog box.
- From the Insert File dialog box, look for the folder where you have stored the files to be inserted and select the required word file. Then click ==>Insert. Word will insert the whole document in for you.
- If you have some diagrams or pictures inserted in the file, you might do some minor editing to it. Otherwise, the whole content is fitted into the master exactly where you want it to be placed. Note, the during the initial group discussions, agree on the Font size, document styles and etc so every group member that is working on on different sections use the same font and style. This will make it easier when you compile the master file by inserting them in. Otherwise, the final editing can take care of that.
- Repeat the process until all different document files are inserted in place.
- Do the final editing for the master document.
- The final and last document is to insert the Table of Contents. Read the separate this post to do this. How To Insert an Automated Table of Contents in Word Document
That’s how easy it is to create your master document file by combing different documents together.