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I have a complicated document containing files with a letter as the first document followed by several article type documents. I have done this by setting up a master tex file with all the frontpeice information, defining common style elements and whatnot, then adding the documents with \include statements. Is there a way to use the letter document class for the first file then switch to the article class for the rest of the files?

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This FAQ answer discusses some solutions to this type of problem. The only one that I think is likely to work for you in this case, is the pdfpages based solution.

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Late to the party, but the combine document class might do what you want. Unfortunately, it also tends to conflict with a lot of things, so YMMV.

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I don't believe there is going to be an easy way to do what you want. You could move all of the "common style elements" into a a .sty file that you can then use via \usepackage from your other documents.

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