An electronic document can comprise a single directory with one or two result files, a scientific paper containing a dozen figures (i.e., result files) with several sections organized in subdirectories, or an entire book containing scores of figures divided into chapters and sections.
Ideally, each section of a document contains its own GNU makefile and offers a reader the standard reproducibility commands. If an author wants to minimize his effort, he is only required to supply the most low-level makefiles needed. All higher level makefiles are created by a script, makemake, which summarizes the information of all makefiles in the immediate subdirectories. For example, makemake can create a book-level makefile from chapter-level makefiles in subdirectories which themselves may have been generated from section-level makefiles. These script-generated makefiles update themselves when a reader invokes any of their rules. This hierarchical document organization facilitates an easy separation and merger of document parts.