Moving Building Blocks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 25, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Gay has a number of building blocks defined, all of which are stored in her Normal template. When the Normal template is replaced by her IT department, all of Gay's custom building blocks are wiped out. She wonders if there is a way to transfer building blocks from one template to another so that she can save her building blocks.

Fortunately, there is a way to do just this—use the Building Blocks Organizer (Insert | Text | Quick Parts | Building Blocks Organizer). Select the building block you want to move, click Edit Properties, and simply change the "Save In" location.

Now, that being said, there is probably an easier way to manage your building blocks. Microsoft allows building blocks to be stored in any template you desire but has designated a special template exactly for this use. Instead of storing your building blocks in the Normal template, store them in the special Building Blocks.dotx template. In order to move building blocks to this template, use the Building Block Organizer as previously noted, but change the "Save In" location to Building Blocks.dotx.

If you choose to store your Building Blocks in Building Blocks.dotx, then there is less chance for them to be overwritten when your IT department updates the Normal template. If, however, your IT department automatically replaces Building Blocks.dotx when they update your system, then you will still be left with the approach of moving individual building blocks, as described earlier. (Of course, you could avoid that problem all together if you put your Building Blocks in a custom template and make sure you attach that template to all your documents.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3873) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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