by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 24, 2015)
Karen would like to print out a list of all the Building Blocks available in Word, but can't seem to discover how to do it. You can print out a list of AutoText entries, but that is only a subset of the larger group of Building Blocks you could have on a system.
There is no built-in capability to print all the Building Blocks on a system, but you can create a macro to access the Building Block information. Building Blocks are stored in templates, with the Building Blocks.dotx template containing all the built-in Building Blocks. Therefore, you need to create a macro that steps through each template that you have open and grabs the building block information from each of them. Consider the following example:
Sub PrintBuildingBlocks() Dim oTemplate As Template Dim oBBT As BuildingBlockType Dim oCat As Category Dim oBB As BuildingBlock Dim J As Integer Dim K As Integer Dim L As Integer ' Loops through all of the open templates For Each oTemplate In Templates ' Prints the name of the template Selection.TypeText oTemplate.Name & vbCrLf For J = 1 To oTemplate.BuildingBlockTypes.Count Set oBBT = oTemplate.BuildingBlockTypes(J) ' Checks if the building block category has at least one entry If oBBT.Categories.Count > 0 Then ' Prints the name of the type of building block Selection.TypeText vbTab & oBBT.Name & vbCrLf For K = 1 To oBBT.Categories.Count Set oCat = oBBT.Categories(K) ' Prints the name of the category of the building block Selection.TypeText vbTab & vbTab & oCat.Name & vbCrLf For L = 1 To oCat.BuildingBlocks.Count Set oBB = oCat.BuildingBlocks.Item(L) ' Prints the name, description, and value Selection.TypeText vbTab & vbTab & vbTab & _ "BB " & L & ": " & oBB.Name & vbCrLf Selection.TypeText vbTab & vbTab & vbTab & _ "Description: " & oBB.Description & vbCrLf Selection.TypeText vbTab & vbTab & vbTab & _ "Value: " & oBB.Value & vbCrLf & vbCrLf Next L Next K Else ' Prints the name of the type of building block AND ' mentions that it does not contain any entries Selection.TypeText vbTab & oBBT.Name & _ " (no entries)" & vbCrLf End If Next J Next oTemplate End Sub
For the best results, open a brand new document; it is this document into which the macro places the building block information. Before executing the macro, the Building Blocks.dotx should be opened by displaying the Insert tab of the ribbon, then clicking Quick Parts | Building Blocks Organizer. Displaying the Building Blocks Organizer in this manner ensures that Word opens the Building Blocks.dotx template.
When you execute the macro, steps through each template, through each type of Building Block in the template, through each category in each type, and finally through each Building Block in each category. The name, description, and actual value for each Building Block is printed. This may not give as "pretty" of a result as you might hope because Building Blocks are much more than text—they can be full-fledged programs, as well. This may result in some funky characters in the document created by the macro.
There's also something else interesting to note about this macro. Note that the outside loop steps through each template using a For Each loop. This is rather normal and mundane for working through collections in the Word object model. However, the three nested loops within this outer loop uses a For Next loop because the collections involved (BuildingBlockTypes, Categories, and BuildingBlocks) don't support For Each loops.
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