Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Defining Protected Sections as AutoText.

Defining Protected Sections as a Building Block

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 12, 2020)

Robert uses Building Blocks to put together entire sections of his documents. He needs a way to paste a protected section into a document—preferably as a Building Block—that is, once inserted, already protected. In other words, he doesn't want to have to do an insert and then protect the section he just inserted as a separate step.

From our testing it does not appear that there is any way to do this. If you protect a section of a document, you can't even select that section in order to create a Building Block based on that selection. This makes it impossible to do what is described.

Of course, you might think that saving your protected section as its own document and then inserting the document might be a way to add protected boilerplate text. (You insert a document by displaying the Insert tab of the ribbon, clicking the down-arrow next to the Insert Object tool, and then choosing Text From File.) This approach doesn't work either; Word apparently strips out all the protection from the file that is inserted. (The section breaks are still there, but any document protection is removed.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8217) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Defining Protected Sections as AutoText.

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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