Never heard of Building Blocks? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In Fact I just recently learned about it myself. Building Blocks first appeared in Word 2007 and has been a well hidden gem ever since.
What are Building Blocks ?
Building Blocks are re-usable document elements that you normally would have to copy from another document or re-create on a regular basis and put it in a drag-and-drop library. It can be used to save design elements like logos, headers, signatures, text you type often etc. etc.
Using Building Blocks
Windows comes with a large Building Blocks library that you may start using right out of the box. Looking through this library will give you an idea of what you may use the library for. In this quick guide I’ll show you how you can create your own Building Block and how you can re-use it in a later document. First, let’s access the library:
- Open Word
- Click the Insert Tab
- On the far right end you’ll see the Quick Parts Icon,
Click the little arrow.
- Choose “Building Block Organizer”:
Now you will see all the available Blocks stored in the building Blocks Library (as seen in the image above). To use one of the existing elements, choose one from the list, and click: Insert
Create your own Building Block
This tool will only be really useful once you start creating your own. Doing so is almost too easy:
Let’s for this example create a “Quote Box” containing one of my favorite Quotes. Satisfied with the design as I am (for pretend sake) I decide to store this layout for later use.
- Highlight the element you want to save.
Click the arrow under the Quick Parts Icon
- Choose: “Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery”
- In the dialogue, Name your item, choose a category and which template to save it in. Except for the name and category I created, use standard settings.
- Click OK
Make use of it
Later on when you want to retrieve your “Building Block Item” click the Quick Parts Menu (again). All your recent Building Blocks will appear directly in the pull-down menu. If not, open the Building Blocks Organizer, locate it and press Insert.