As a business owner, I spend a significant amount of time managing my emails. I often need to respond to the same questions several times a week. This is where Quick Parts in Outlook saves me time and sanity. Not only does Quick Parts streamline my email processes but it also ensures consistent delivery of information. Quick Parts in Outlook allows you to insert reusable information into an email message.
A very common way that users “work around” this issue is the use of different signatures and I see this over and over again when I am teaching Outlook courses. Using signatures in this fashion is not a particularly simple way of approaching this issue and one major problem is the fact you cannot combine information from multiple signatures and build on them. Another work around is to find an email in the Sent Items, where you’ve already typed up a response, and copy and paste to reuse the information again. Again not a great solution to the problem.
Quick Parts can be created based on simple information such as your contact details, or more complex information such as multiple paragraphs which include specific formatting, links to resources, and numbered or bulleted lists. Each Quick Part block can then be saved and inserted as a single block of information, or insert multiple blocks to build upon the informaiton you need to respond with.
Quick Parts is also included as a feature in Microsoft Word so be sure to take a look at my post, Quick Parts – the quickest way to insert reusable information in Word.
Create a Quick Part Block
Quick Parts will allow you to include formatting such as bold, italics, paragraph alignment, bullet or numbered lists and even images. For email messages, I tend not to include too many images however it is certainly a great feature you can utilise. Let’s create the first Quick Part block:
- Open Microsoft Outlook
- Open a new blank email message using Ctrl + N on the keyboard
- Place your cursor in the body area of the email message and type in the block of text you wish to save for future use
Tip: I use this feature for content which ranges from long sentences through to multiple paragraphs. Essentially any text you include on a regular basis, you can use with Quick Parts.
- Format the text in the way you will want it to be displayed each time, including formatting such as bold, italics or numbered lists.
- Now highlight the text/paragraphs.
- Click the Insert tab and select the Quick Parts button
- From the menu select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
- The Create New Building Block dialog box will appear:
- Change the name of the Quick Part to something more descriptive, so you can easily identify each block of information in the list.
- Click OK.
- Close the original message you created the text in, no need to save it.
Insert Quick Parts
Now that you have the reusable information saved, you can insert it as often as you need to into email messages. It doesn’t matter if you need to send a new email, reply to an email or forward an email, the Quick Parts will be available.
- Create a new blank email message (Ctrl + N on the keyboard).
- Enter a recipient in the To field and add a Subject.
- Click inside the main body section of the email message.
- Select Insert > Quick Parts.
- You will see your entry listed along with a preview:
- Click on the entry to insert it into your blank email message.
- If you wish to add multiple blocks, simply repeat the process to add the next Quick Part. Ensure your cursor is in the correct positive before inserting the next block.
- Once you are happy with the content, click Send.
You can insert multiple Quick Parts into the one email message to build a complete message if needed. Quick Parts will also work when you reply or forward an email message. This is a nice easy way to reuse content within Microsoft Outlook.
If you want to take this another step further, you can also create email templates in Outlook, see the post on how to Create your own custom email template in Outlook.