Understanding Building Blocks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 9, 2017)

2

Word includes a laborsaving feature known as Building Blocks. They are, in many ways, analogous to the AutoText feature available in versions of Word prior to Word 2007. Their capabilities are greatly expanded, however. The purpose of building blocks is to allow you to create reusable chunks of content. This capability can be a real boon in some types of writing, particularly if you work in a business (such as the legal field) where your content can be used over and over again.

There are two other terms you need to understand in order to get a handle on Building Blocks. The first is Quick Parts and the second is a gallery. Building Blocks can be assigned to different galleries. Basically, a gallery is a way to categorize the Building Blocks you create. There are 35 Building Block galleries defined in Word, and you can use macros to create your own custom galleries.

One of the pre-defined galleries (or, again, categories) is known as Quick Parts. This is a special gallery that is used to define those Building Blocks you want displayed in the pull-down menu that appears when you display the Insert tab of the ribbon and click on Quick Parts. All of the Building Blocks assigned to the Quick Parts gallery are displayed at the top of the menu where they can be quickly used within your document.

There are many, many Building Blocks already defined within Word. You can add to the built-in Building Blocks, as you desire. The best way to get a handle on what Building Blocks are available is to display the Building Block Organizer. There you can (for lack of a better word) organize your Building Blocks in any way desired. You display the Building Block Organizer by clicking the Quick Parts tool (again, on the Insert tab of the ribbon) and choosing Building Block Organizer from the bottom of the choices presented.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8220) 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

Adding a File Path and Filename

If you need to stuff the current workbook's filename and path into a cell or a header or footer, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Dealing with Large Numbers of Seconds

When adding values to a time to calculate a new time, you may naturally choose to use the TIME function. This can cause some ...

Discover More

Saving Styles in a Macro

If you are trying to limit what styles can and can't be used in a document, you might think a good approach is to store those ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Synchronizing Building Blocks for a Network

Building blocks can be a great asset when putting together documents, as they make inserting standardized information quick ...

Discover More

Backing Up Building Blocks

Got a lot of Building Blocks defined in Word? You can back them up rather easily, but first you need to figure out where they ...

Discover More

Editing a Building Block Entry

Once you've created a Building Block, you may believe that it is "set in stone" and cannot be changed. Not so! You can ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 three more than 5?

2017-06-09 15:44:28

Darin

In my experience, if you want to use the building blocks in macros, you need to assign them to the Autotext gallery. This is the only gallery "visible" to VBA.

If I'm wrong, please enlighten me.


2016-07-21 09:13:22

Nick

This is the best explanation I've seen regarding the interrelationships among Building Blocks, Quick Parts, and Galleries. Other, more lengthy, articles don't tie the concepts together.


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.