Create and use document building blocks in Word 2007

By Katherine Murray

Katherine Murray has authored and coauthored more than 40 computer books with several Microsoft Office titles to her credit, including Faster Smarter Microsoft Office System—2003 Edition, First Look Microsoft Office 2003, Faster Smarter Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Word Version 2002 Inside Out. She is also a columnist on the Microsoft Office Community site on Katherine specializes in teaching people and businesses how to communicate effectively by using print and electronic media.

To learn more about other books on the 2007 Microsoft Office system, visit Microsoft Press.

If you are running or managing a small business, you know that there is a constant barrage of demands requiring your time and attention. Anything you can do to automate or streamline repetitive tasks will save you and your employees time and effort, which ultimately benefits your bottom line. Microsoft Office Word 2007 helps you recycle content in business documents by creating and using building blocks. This article shows you how to create building blocks from your existing content and apply them in your documents.

Tip: Building blocks are items within a document that you save using the Quick Parts tool to be reused in other documents. For example, you might save your company’s contact information or mission statement, a design for a report opening, a special list style that you use in your documents regularly, or a staff roster you include on finished publications.

Creating a Quick Part

  1. Select the content you want to save as a building block.

  2. Click the Insert tab and in the Text command set, click the down arrow next to Quick Parts. The menu shown in Figure 1 appears.

    the quick parts menu

    Figure 1 The Quick Parts menu.

    Tip: The content you select can include text, images, and special formats. Whatever you save as a building block will be placed in the new document as is, so lines, logos, hyperlinks, and more can be saved for reuse.

  3. Click Save Selection To Quick Part Gallery. The Create New Building Block dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 2.

    the create new building block dialog box

    Figure 2 The Create New Building Block dialog box.

  4. Type a name for the Quick Part and click OK. This saves the new item in the Quick Parts gallery so that you can insert it in a document by selecting it from the Quick Parts menu. Now that you know how to create a Quick Part, using it is simple.

Adding Quick Parts to a document

  1. Open the document in which you want to add the Quick Part. Click to anchor the cursor at the point in the document where you want to add the item.

  2. Click the arrow next to Quick Parts. In addition to the options previously available, now you see a list of building blocks you have added to the list. (See Figure 3.)

    available quick parts

    Figure 3 Available Quick Parts

  3. Click the part you want to insert at the cursor position.

Tip: If you want to see the whole collection of available building blocks, including the ones you added, click Building Blocks Organizer in the Quick Parts menu. A large variety of building blocks are provided for everything from cover pages to equations to page numbering. In the Building Blocks Organizer, you can preview, edit, or delete building blocks and, if you choose, insert them in your current document.

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