Embed word document inside another word document.

I want to create MS Word document Instructions.docx with the following text.

Step 1. Choose a doctor. For details click link1.
Step 2. Schedule the appointment. For details click link2.

MS Word makes it easy to make link1 point to \\server\step1.docx and link2 point to \\server\step2.docx.

But, I sometimes want to mall the document to someone that is not on our server.

When they open the document and click on the link, they get an error message "cannot open specified file".

Is there a way to save Instructions.docx with the link embedded?

It should work so that people that are connected to the server get the most recent version of the link target, but people who are not connected get the old version of the link target  as it was when instructions.docx was saved.
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rberkeConsultantAsked:
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Andrew LeniartEE Senior Editor & Independent IT ConsultantCommented:
I'd have to give it a little thought, but yes it could be done. It may be easier to achieve with a PDF though - does it have to be a Word Document?

Also, are you able to host the Step 1 and Step 2 on your public website? That would make it even easier to achieve.
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rberkeConsultantAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, this particular client can't switch to PDFs; public websites.

But, we are lucky that they do not often send these documents by email.

If it turns out that Word does not offer a similar feature, we can live without it.  

rberke
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rberkeConsultantAuthor Commented:
In fact, even master documents won't solve this particular problem, because the master must be bundled with all of the associated links into a single archive.  

I was thinking of writing a vba macro that automates that process, but that would take me at least a day, The client says it is not worth that expense.  

Plus, the client has many employees that just use simple hyperlinks in simple word documents. They are not interested in teaching everybody about master documents.

Actually,  publishing as Pdf might be a viable solution but I don't see any way to embed the sub documents instead of the links. Everything I try give me real links.  When clicking on the link I want it to take move me to the appropriate place inside the PDF. Instead, the links just say something like this.
this document is trying to connect to:
file:///s:/Instructions/step1.doc.
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Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Just put it all in one document with links to bookmarks within the file.

What about a Table of Contents at the beginning of a document which can have links to specific pages.
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Andrew LeniartEE Senior Editor & Independent IT ConsultantCommented:
rberke,

Given the restrictions imposed on you by your client, what you want to achieve can't be done. I would include steps 1 and 2 to the bottom of the document you are going to email and then create bookmark hyperlinks to the relevant sections in the main document body so that when clicked, the user would be sent to that particular page and section within the document. Without a common sharing folder location of some sort, what you want to achieve just isn't possible with Word. It could kind of be done in Excel, but even then, the relevant parts would need to be included in separate sheets.

Regards, Andrew
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rberkeConsultantAuthor Commented:
The best answer really is "it can't be done easily."  And, more importantly, the client agrees it is not important enough to deserve heroic steps.

Thanks for everybody's suggestion.

Bob
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Andrew LeniartEE Senior Editor & Independent IT ConsultantCommented:
Hi Bob,

Unfortunately, sometimes "it can't be done" is the only answer there is :)

Thanks for the update and please don't forget to close your question.
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rberkeConsultantAuthor Commented:
Oops, I closed it wrong. Let me try again.
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