How to Use Building Blocks in Microsoft Word

When it comes to processing, finding ways to save time is essential to maintaining productivity and mental quickness. Microsoft understands this, and it’s the primary reason behind building blocks in Microsoft Word. These pre-designed and customized blocks of text and formatting techniques make it easier to insert content, including text and graphics, thereby cutting down on the amount of typing.

Say Hello to Blocks

Located in the Microsoft Word Quick Part Gallery, these building blocks take many forms, including preformatted headers, footers, text boxes, cover pages, page numbers, quick tables, watermarks, table of contents, bibliographies, and equations. The often-used AutoText feature in Microsoft Word is a common type of building block. In fact, the feature grew out of AutoText in previous versions of Word.

Theme-enabled, building block content automatically changes with the many available styles. You can also customize the blocks to better match your needs. In the Quick Part Gallery, you can create, store, and reuse the blocks. The Building Blocks Organizer is where you can find or edit a building block.

You can find many of the existing building blocks under the Microsoft Word Insert tab. In the example below, you can see the header and footer examples.

Quick Part Gallery

You can find the Quick Part Gallery under the Insert tab in Microsoft Word. From there, click Quick Parts under the Text group. Quick Parts is organized under five sections, including:

  • AutoText: It’s here where you’ll find reusable content. By clicking on AutoText, you gain access to the AutoText gallery, which you create by clicking Save Selection to AutoText Gallery (see below).
  • Document Property: Allows you to insert properties into your current document, such as author, category, and publish date.
  • Field: With field codes, you can insert automatically updated information into your document. Examples include time, title, page numbers, and more.
  • Building Blocks Organizer: From this location, you’ll find all the building blocks available to your in Microsoft Word. You can also edit or delete existing blocks or create news ones from there.
  • Save Selection to AutoText Gallery: the Highlighted text is easily added to the AutoText Gallery using this tool. Use this tool to add frequently required text.

Reviewing Existing Quick Part Building Block

You can take a look at existing building blocks in the Quick Part Gallery:

  1. Have your cursor in the correct spot in Microsoft Word.
  2. Under the Insert tab, click Quick Parts.
  3. Choose the Building Blocks Organizer.
  4. Click Name to sort by name.
  5. Highlight the building block you wish to review.
  6. Click Edit Properties.
  7. Review the information contained in the Quick Part.
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In the following screenshots, you can see a Cover Page building block:

Creating a Quick Part

To add a new Quick Part:

  1. Highlight the phrase, sentence, or another portion of your current document.
  2. Click Quick Parts under the Inset tab, Text group in Microsoft Word.
  3. Choose Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
  4. Change the name of the new Quick Part, if necessary.
  5. Add a description.
  6. Click OK to save the Quick Part.

Which Gallery?

When you’re creating a new building block, you can assign it to whatever gallery you choose. During the Create New Building Block process (see above), use the pull-down to select a gallery. To insert the block into your existing document:

  1. Have your cursor in the correct spot in Microsoft Word.
  2. Under the Insert tab, click Quick Parts.
  3. Choose AutoText.
  4. Select the AutoText to insert.

In the following example, the new building block has been assigned to the AutoText gallery and then inserted into the document. 

Adjust the Content of a Quick Part

You can change the content of a Quick Part by overriding it:

  1. Have your cursor in the correct spot in Microsoft Word.
  2. Under the Insert tab, click Quick Parts.
  3. Choose the Building Blocks Organizer.
  4. Click Name to sort by name.
  5. Highlight the building block you wish to change.
  6. Click Insert.
  7. Change the content of y0ur building block.
  8. Highlight the revised text.
  9. Click Quick Parts under the Inset tab, Text group in Microsoft Word.
  10. Choose Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
  11. Use the same name as the previously saved Quick Part.
  12. Click OK to save.
  13. Choose Yes to the message indicating whether you wish to change the building block.

Renaming Quick Parts

At any time, you can change the name of Quick Parts. To do so:

  1. Under the Insert tab, click Quick Parts in Microsoft Word.
  2. Choose the Building Blocks Organizer.
  3. Click Name to sort by name.
  4. Highlight the building block you wish to change.
  5. Click Edit Properties.
  6.  In the Name box, change the name.
  7. Select OK to save.

Deleting Quick Parts

To remove Quick Parts from Microsoft Word:

  1. Under the Insert tab, click Quick Parts in Microsoft Word.
  2. Choose the Building Blocks Organizer.
  3. Click Name to sort by name.
  4. Highlight the building block you wish to delete.
  5. Choose Delete.
  6. Select OK to confirm the deletion.

Using building blocks in Microsoft Word is a fairly straight-forward process. Using these, you can quickly add text to your documents. These blocks are either pre-designed or customized. Use them to make your Microsoft Word experience more efficient.

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