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Document 668

Message: Failed to find master document (filename)

Version: 3.5x, 4.x, 5.x - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word


When you try to typeset a subdocument, you receive this message:

Failed to find master document (filename). Default document information used. Warning: Print or preview may fail.


The system can't find the master document for the subdocument.

Because subdocuments contain no typesetting specifications, document information, or front matter of their own, they rely instead on that of the master document. If the master document is missing, the program must use default information and the preview or print operation may fail.

If you continue the compilation process using default information, the program typesets the subdocument as if it were an article. Subdocuments intended as book or report chapters won't typeset properly because they contain constructs not normally used in articles.

The master document may be missing for several reasons. If you received the subdocument from an outside source, the master document may not have been provided with it. Or, if the master document has been renamed, the pointers in the subdocument may still point to the old document name.


  • If the master document is unavailable, create a new, independent document from the subdocument:

  1. Open a new document using an appropriate shell.

  2. From the File menu, choose Import Contents.

  3. Select the subdocument and choose OK.

  4. Create front matter for the new document as necessary.

  5. Save and compile the new document.

  • If the master document has been renamed, create a new subdocument for the master document and import the contents of the old subdocument into the new one:

  1. Save the renamed master document.

  2. Place the insertion point where you want to include the subdocument.

  3. From the Insert menu, choose Typeset Object and then choose Subdocument.

  4. In the Subdocument area, enter a name for the new subdocument and choose OK.

  5. Save the master document again.

  6. Open the new subdocument.

  7. From the File menu, choose Import Contents.

  8. Select the old subdocument and choose OK.

    The program copies the content of the old subdocument into the new one.

Added 07/29/05

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