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Posted by Hugh
Sep 24, 2011 at 03:25 PM

 

I stopped using the Master Document feature around the time of Word 2003 also. In my case I abandoned it because it seemed to be the cause of frequent crashes, corrupted files and lost work. This wasn’t just my experience; there used to be—I don’t know whether there still is—a good website detailing recommended ways of using Word for writers of longform documents. It strongly advised against using the Document Map/ Master Document functionality.

That’s not to say that this functionality is still a risk factor—I’d be surprised if Microsoft hadn’t put the problems right.

For me at least, an important advantage of Scrivener is that it incorporates Master Document features with fewer of the dangers of that earlier generation of Word. Scrivener only brings a small proportion of one’s work into RAM at any one time; the rest remains relatively safe on the hard disk.