Office 2007: Building Word Docs With Building Blocks - Page 2

By Helen Bradley
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» DIY Building Blocks

If building blocks were limited to just these elements that Word 2007 provides you with, they would be very useful indeed. There is more to the feature, however, and you can create your own building blocks which Word somewhat confusingly calls both Quick Parts and Building blocks. Any piece of text or image that you use frequently can be created as a quick part and added to a document very quickly.

To make a quick part element, first create and format the text as you want it to look every time you insert it into a document and from the Insert tab select the Quick Parts dropdown list. Click the Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery option. Type a name for the Building Block — this will be what you will click on to select it and to add it to your document so make it self explanatory.

Select the Gallery to attach the building block to. This will typically be the Quick Parts gallery. You then select the Category of building block — everything can be saved to the General category or you can create subcategories by clicking the Create New Category option and type a new category name. Using Categories to organize the building blocks makes sense if you're going to create a lot of building blocks and if they logically fall into categories such as images, legal content, and so forth.

Type a description for the building block if it is necessary to identify what it is and leave the Save In option set to buildingblocks.dotx as this is where Word expects your building blocks to be stored.

In the Options area, select whether you want the building block content to appear in line with the text, as a new paragraph, or as a new page when it is inserted into the document. Then OK to create your building block.

Building blocks are stored in such a way that they are available to all Word documents you create. So, to insert a building block into any Word document, click in the position in the document where the building block text or image is to appear, choose Insert and Quick Parts.

In the dialog you can click the building block to insert if it appears in the list or click the Building Blocks Organizer to gain access to all the building blocks available for use. In the Organizer you can order the building blocks by name, gallery, category, or template name to make them easier to find.

Click to select the one to add to your document and click the Insert button to insert it into the document.

As you can see, building blocks can make it easy for your to insert text and images that you use frequently into your documents and they can make it easy to add professional formatting options such as cover pages and headers and footers into your documents.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. She blogs at http://www.projectwoman.com/blogger.html.

Adapted from winplanet.com.

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This article was originally published on May 30, 2008
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