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Is there an easier way to combine documents than Copy/Paste?


I use a very basic Windows XP and I’m trying to put together a collection of
my stories for self-publishing. They’re all written as separate documents in
Word. Now I need to put them all together as one document on a disc. I tried
your search but if the subject is there I’m phrasing it wrong. The only thing I
can think of would be to put the first document on a disc and then copy and
paste each story on to that document. Is there an easier way?

In this excerpt from Answercast #84, I look at ways to combine multiple Word documents into one
for publishing.


Combine document with copy/paste

Not that I’m aware of. But, I want to make sure that you are copy/pasting the right thing when you say you are: you’re not copy/pasting “documents” onto “documents.”

What I would do in a case like this is:

  • Open up the first document in Word;

  • Go to the bottom of that document;

  • Open up the second document in Word;

  • Select all with Ctrl-A;

  • Copy it with Ctrl-C;

  • Go back to the bottom of the first document and paste in the contents of the second with Ctrl-V.

I would then repeat that process for each of the documents.

Building a single Word document

What happens is that you are building a complete document inside of Word: a single document that contains the contents of all of these other documents.

Once you finish pasting the documents into Word, then you would do a File > Save As to save it to a new file name, and that’s the document that you would then put on disc.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Do this

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5 comments on “Is there an easier way to combine documents than Copy/Paste?”

  1. For Word 2010 users it is easy:
    Open a new document in Word 2010
    Click on the Insert Ribbon
    Click on the drop down arrow beside Object
    Click on Text from File…
    Insert File dialogue box opens up
    Navigate to the document whose text you want to insert and select it
    Click Insert
    Subsequent documents are easier if you have them all in the same folder because the next time you go through the process the Insert File dialogue box defaults to the original folder.
    Hope this is useful.

  2. In addition to what Gerard posted, which incidentally also works with Word 98, you can also insert a pdf into the document.

    Open the Word document that you want to insert a PDF file into.

    Select “Insert” from the Word ribbon located at the top of the page.

    Look to the “Text” section of the ribbon and click “Object.”

    Click “Create from File” when the “Object” window opens and click “Browse” to select the PDF file you want to insert in your Word document.

    Click the PDF file you want to insert and click “Insert.”

    Click “OK.” The PDF file will now show up in your Word document.

    j.peg pictures can also be added, with a slightly different process.

  3. The boiler add in from Graham Mayors site will do the trick… there’s a ton of brilliant stuff for word users here too. Full installation instructions etc there. Highly recommended… saved me a ton of time… and please donate if you find it useful. (I am not connected to the site in any way, just used a couple of his add ins)

  4. Assuming each WORD File represents a different chapter, phase or similar, it may be worthwhile simultaneously sectioning the composite document as you proceed.

  5. It’s probably no easier than any of the other suggestions, but in some situations, creating a Master Document which links in each of the others may be part of the solution. This is like an Include or Require in coding, the text is not physically copied into the master document; it’s brought in temporarily while Word is open. This has two advantages:
    none of your documents gets too big (which was more of a problem back when PCs had limited memory) and changes in the subdocuments get automatically included in the Master.


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