OOo Off the Wall: Master Documents
If you are an MS Word user, and we all have secret shames in our pasts, you may have fallen into the habit of avoiding master documents--and for good reason. Master documents in MS Word can crash and corrupt sub-documents unless they are used so carefully that there is hardly any reason to use them at all.
But if you have this habit of avoiding master documents, you can change it when you use OpenOffice.org Writer. Master documents in Writer are much more stable. They are not immune to crashes, but unless a master document's size exceeds the available RAM on your computer, you may never see one. This stability frees master documents in Writer to be what they were meant to be: a way to organize and write long documents more efficiently.
Master documents are documents that manage and organize other Writer documents. They consist of a series of links to individual sub-documents that can be opened only when needed. They offer a savings in overhead that is noticeable even on today's high-RAM machines.
When a master document is opened, sub-documents are added to it as sections. As each sub-document is opened, it is reformatted and repaginated using the master document's styles and other settings. In particular, any numbering sequences become continuous. For instance, if a paragraph style is numbered 4 in one sub-document and the next occurrence of the style is in the next sub-document, then the next occurrence is numbered 5 in the master document. This occurs even if that paragraph style originally was numbered 1. The sub-documents then can be printed or exported as a single document.
What makes master documents useful is these changes apply only within the master document. If you save the sub-documents as part of a master document and then open them again as separate documents, they revert to their original formats and page numberings.
Master documents are useful in several circumstances:
If your computer's memory is limited: Experiment to find the maximum document size that your computer can handle without grinding. Sub-divide your document into files equal to or smaller than the maximum size. Only assemble your documents into a master document when you are ready to print.
When material has to be used in different places: A file can be used in any number of master documents, so you can re-use it as needed. However, because the master document formatting takes precedence over sub-document formatting, either try to ensure that all the master documents using the same sub-document have the same formatting, or be careful not to save a file while more than one master document is open.
When a document is divided into chapters: You then can use the special master document view in Navigator to help move around and work with the shorter sub-documents instead of the long document. In other words, the master document becomes a floating window that stores the documents to which you are most likely to refer.
You want two or more documents that are similar except in some parts: You can add all the files for all the documents and then hide or un-hide individual sub-documents before printing or exporting.
Master documents are built from three sources:
Separate files, or sub-documents: Sub-documents are treated as sections of the master document and have the same options as sections within a normal document. Within the navigator, sub-documents are listed by their file names.
Text: Areas before, between or after the sections for sub-documents. Although anything can be added to text areas in a master document, putting a lot in them defeats the purpose of using a master document in the first place. In a well-planned document, you should generally not need to use extra text. Here's another reason to avoid them: text areas are listed in the master document view in the Navigator with the unhelpful title of "Text". The main use for text areas is spacers between separate files for pagination.
Indexes and tables: Inserted into text areas of the master document, indexes and tables such as Tables of Contents and Alphabetical Indexes can provide references to the contents of sub-documents.
Master documents simplify the management of long documents. However, using them to their full advantage still requires some organization. Here are some suggestions for working with master documents and getting the most from them:
To minimize the chances of formatting problems, use the same template to create the master document and all its sub-documents. If some documents are used in more than one master document, try to make sure that all of the master documents use the same template, too. If using the same template is not possible for some reason, consider adding the sub-document as an OLE Object instead, using Insert > Object > OLE Object to preserve its formatting.
Whenever possible, place each master document and all of its sub-documents in the same directory. A convenient strategy is to place the sub-documents in a sub-directory of the folder that holds the master document. Use another sub-directory for graphics. If some documents are used in more than one master document, create a sub-directory only for them.
Ordinarily, you probably want each part of a master document to start on a separate page. You can set up this format automatically by using the Breaks section on the Text Flow tab to start a new page after:
The Heading paragraph style for each index and table, for example, Contents Heading for a Table of Contents.
The first paragraph style used in each sub-document, probably Title, Heading 1 or possibly a created style called something like Chapter Number.
The convention is to start each new part of a long document on a right, odd-numbered page. Open a book, and you will see why: most readers' eyes fall on the right page first. Because the start of a new part is one of the main guides for finding information, you want it to be as prominent as possible. To ensure that the parts start on a right page, start at the beginning and go through the master document, adding manual page breaks in the Text areas wherever they are needed. Starting each part on a new page also minimizes reformatting.
Aside from tables, indexes and page breaks, minimize the content that is added to the master document directly. Add it to the sub-documents instead. The more content added directly to the master document, the less flexible it becomes.
Because of the kludges required to add some cross-references to a master document, place them in a paragraph of their own to prevent unexpected reformatting in the master document.
Use page styles and/or manual page breaks to use different numbering for different parts of the master document. For example, one common format is to use lowercase Roman numerals for front matter, such as copyright pages and tables of contents, and Arabic numbers for the main text. And often, numbering is restarted with the main text.
-- Bruce Byfield (nanday)
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Returning Values from Bash Functions
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide