Synchronizing Building Blocks for a Network

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 14, 2017)

4

Roger has three computers on a small computer network in his home. He wonders if there is a way to "sync" Building Block entries between the three computers so that all of them are using the exact same set of Building Blocks all the time.

There are two ways you can go about this. One is to use a third-party solution to synchronize files on all three computers. There are multiple solutions available on the Internet; a free one suggested by a WordTips reader is SyncToy, by Microsoft. It is free and available here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15155

The program can be set to synchronize the Building Blocks.dotx file on each system at pre-defined intervals. (The Building Blocks.dotx file is where each system stores its building block entries; you should use Windows to search and discover where the file is located on each system.)

The other potential approach is to simply move the Building Blocks.dotx file to a shared network drive or to a shared folder on one computer that you leave on at all times. Make sure that each machine on the network can see the file (use Windows Explorer to determine you can get to it), and then you'll need to modify Word so that it knows to look for the template.

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click the Advanced option at the left of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll through the list of options until you see the General section.
  4. Click the File Locations button. Word displays the File Locations dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The File Locations dialog box.

  6. Make sure that the Workgroup Templates specification points to the folder that contains the shared version of Building Blocks.dotx.
  7. Click OK.

If Word, after restarting, gives you any grief about accessing the template, you may need to use the Trust Center to specify the folder as a trusted location.

If you want to still use individual Building Blocks.dotx templates on each system (so that each of them can have some private, individual building block entries), then you can still set up the shared folder and put, within it, a template that uses a different name. When your users define building blocks in the future, they can specify that they get stored in the shared template.

Of course, the acceptability of using any synchronization approach can only be determined by testing. You'll want to make sure that the changes on one system are reflected in the others, as you expect.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7017) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Saving in Two Locations

When you save a workbook to disk, you may want to automatically save a duplicate workbook in a separate location. This ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of the Task Pane on Startup

Tired of the task pane appearing every time you start Word? Here's how to get rid of it.

Discover More

Jumping to a Table Row

Need to jump to a particular row in a table? Word provides an easy way to jump to all sorts of things, but it doesn't ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Moving Building Block Templates

Not all templates are created equal. Word uses two special templates for storing building blocks. If you want to move ...

Discover More

QuickWords in Word

WordPerfect users coming to Word may miss a feature called QuickWords. This tip examines some ways you can get around the ...

Discover More

Understanding Building Blocks

Ever wonder what the Building Blocks feature does in Word? Here's an explanation of the feature and what you can do with it.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

2018-01-29 22:16:21

Larry Hazen

First I want to say your stuff is great and second thanks for keeping us up to date on all your topics.

So I was reading about Synchronizing Building Blocks. What I was wondering if you can share the Building Blocks with OneDrive vs a Network drive...

Or is it best to just get a third party software to deal with this..

Thanks again,
Larry


2017-10-24 21:10:27

Djalma Santos

Many thanks!


2015-01-28 11:36:19

Tom Guarnera

I believe, the second, shared on a network folder, option will not work if one of the machines goes into an offline mode. For instance, a laptop that is used in another location.

The first option, using a third party tool to synch the file is probably safer, as the file will be copied to the local machine and will travel with it to any location.


2013-08-19 00:08:20

Roger A. Severson

Many thanks to David French, Jacques Raubenheimer, Jennifer Thomas, and Evert van Roon for their contributions to this tip.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.