How to create reusable document parts

In the last post, I mentioned that Quick Parts on the Insert ribbon tab in Word 2007 are pretty easy to make. They're called building blocks but you save them to the "Quick Parts Gallery" so you can insert them with a click or two in other documents as you need them.

If you want to use a building block in documents based on one template only, you need to save a copy of the template first so I usually start there. You can also add a building block to the Quick Parts for all of your documents. I included the steps for both, below:

  1. Open a Word document, and then save it as a template.

    Here's how: Click the Word button in the top left corner, click Save As, and then click Word Template.
    Type a file name and then click Save. Make sure you save it to a location that you can easily find again, such as your Documents folder.

  2. In your new template, create the content that you want to save as a building block and then click the Insert tab.

        Tip: You can use any kind of content, including pictures, tables, document properties, hyperlinks, and more to create a building block.

  3. Select the building block content.

  4. While it's selected, click Quick Parts (on the Insert tab), and then click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.

  5. Type a name for your new building block. For now, ignore the other options except "Save in".

  6. To add the new building block to the Quick Parts for all of your documents, click OK.  (The Save in field should say "Building Blocks".)

        - or -  

    To add it to the Quick Parts for documents that will use this template only, click the arrow next to the Save in field, click the name of your file, and then click OK.

You're done! To use your new building block, just select if from the Quick Parts menu in new documents (or in documents that you create from this template, whatever you opted for).

Like any new feature, it will probably take time to get everything working just right as you start creating and inserting reusable parts but hopefully, this helps you get started.

Here are a few things I've found about using Quick Parts....

  • You usually need to put your cursor in the exact spot in the document where you want a Quick Part to appear--before you insert it.

  • To undo a Quick Part insertion,  press CTRL+Z. (It's easier than trying to select and delete the content by hand).

  • To see more options for inserting a reusable part, right click it in the Quick Parts menu.

  • You can rename or delete Quick Parts by right-clicking them in the Quick Parts menu (or by opening the Building Blocks Organizer, also from the menu).

  • To update or replace a Quick Part without deleting it, just save the new version by the same name.


Comments (3)

  1. says:

    This is a great feature! A question:  If I make a change to a quick part and save the document that contained and instance/insertion of that QuickPart – can it auto save the new part (or give me the option to)?  

  2. templateers says:

    Unfortunately, no. If you make a change to a Quick Part, you need to resave the Quick Part to the document (and overwrite or delete the previous part).

    You can delete Quick Parts by opening the Building Blocks Gallery from the Quick Parts menu. Alternately, if you select and then save an updated part using the same name as the original version, you should see an option to save over the original.

    ~ Cynthia

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