by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 20, 2019)
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:
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 confirm you can get to it), and then you'll need to modify Word so that it knows to look for the template.
Figure 1. The File Locations dialog box.
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.
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