Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Storing AutoText Entries with a Document.

Storing Building Block Entries with a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 10, 2016)

2

Rob has developed a document that contains a Word table that is used as a form for managing a project. Two cells in the table contain drop-down lists of alternatives using a Building Block entry. On Rob's machine, the drop-down lists work perfectly. When he transfers the document to a network drive so it is accessible to others in his office, the drop-down lists are no longer available. Rob would like this to work on other machines and is wondering what the trick is.

The trick is to understand that Building Block entries are not stored in documents; they are stored in templates. The default template in which they are stored is Building Blocks.Dotx. Since this template is available only on your machine, the Building Block entries required for the form are available only on your machine and not on others.

The solution, then, is to create a new template that will be used in conjunction with your form document. Store this template on the network drive and make sure that the form document has this template attached. Then, save the Building Block entries necessary to the form in the special template. To save a Building Block in the special template, follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F3. Word displays the Create New Building Block dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Create New Building Block dialog box.

  3. Fill in the various fields of the dialog box, as desired.
  4. Depending on which version of Word you're using, use the Store In or Save In drop-down list to indicate you want the Building Block stored in your special template.
  5. Click on OK to save the changes and exit the dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10340) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Storing AutoText Entries with a Document.

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

Inserting Page Number Cross-References

Want to insert a dynamic cross-reference to a particular page number? It's easy to do following the steps in this tip.

Discover More

Editing Custom Dictionaries

Custom dictionaries can be great, but they take quite a bit of time to create. Word provides a way you can edit your custom ...

Discover More

Sheets for Months

One common type of workbook used in offices is one that contains a single worksheet for each month of the year. If you need ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies 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

Printing a List of Building Blocks

Building Blocks are a great way to semi-automate the creation of common documents. At some point you may want to get a ...

Discover More

Quick Recall of Table Formats

Got a table that you use over and over again? One way you can make quick work of such repetition is to save the table in a ...

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 7 - 1?

2017-02-27 06:51:01

Moray

Ivy, I was also mystified when that happened to me. It seems Word uses 'lazy loading' for building blocks - a template must have a building block in it, before Word will load it as a source for building blocks :)
The workaround is to open the template you want to use, create a building block in that template - it can be just a small throwaway thing - and save that.
Now if you put the template in your Word Start folder, so that Word loads it as a global add-in, that template should appear in the Save in dropdown.

To make this template available to your colleagues, put it on a shared drive, and ask them to copy it to their Word start folders.

Hope that helps.


2017-01-10 10:34:05

ivy tillman

I'm a little lost...

i created a template separate from my form called bb4ivy.dotx, saved in my custom templates folder. When i open the create new building block control, this template is not available in the Save in dropdown.

2nd, how do i attach the special template to the form: just put it in the same folder, i.e. make sure they are together?

Thank you.


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.