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Free tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office and Windows

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Free tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office and Windows

How to use Quick Parts in Word

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Do you find yourself repetitively inserting the same sentence, paragraph or images into documents on a regular basis? Today I’d like to introduce you to the world of Building Blocks and Quick Parts in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Word, and likewise Microsoft Outlook, have an amazing feature called Building Blocks. Building blocks are saved objects or elements that you insert into an email/document, such as text, logos, tables or images. Quick Parts are just one example of a type of building block.

Quick Parts allow you to save pre-formatted blocks of text and/or images which you can then quickly insert into any document with a few clicks of the mouse. It’s worth noting that there is also Quick Parts for Outlook which allows you to easily reuse text responses for email messages, see my article here.

You can use Quick Parts for simple information such as your contact details through to multiple paragraphs or content including visual elements such as images, photos, SmartArt, charts, shapes and more. You can stop copying from one document to paste into another, simply say this information as a Quick Part to easily insert when you need it.

Create a Quick Part in Word

To create a Quick Part Building Block, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Type in a paragraph of text you wish to save for future use. You can insert different content types and even an image if you’d like. In my example I have inserted my logo, my name, the name of this blog site and the URL.

Tip: I use this feature for content which ranges from a long sentences through to multiple paragraphs. Essentially any text you include on a regular basis, you can use within Quick Parts.

  1. Use the formatting tools to format your text appropriately.
  2. Now highlight the entire block of information you want to save and reuse:
  1. Click the Insert tab and select the Quick Parts button.
  2. You can see in my Quick Parts I already have an image saved to reuse:
  1. From the menu select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
  2. The Create New Building Block dialog box will appear:
  1. Change the Name to something more suitable so you can recognise it in the list.
  2. Click OK.
  3. Close the document and do not save changes.
  4. Close Word.
  5. You will now see a message asking if you want to save changes to the “Building Blocks” template file. Make sure you choose Save otherwise your new Quick Part will not be available in all documents.

Insert information from Quick Parts

Once you have saved the Quick Part to the gallery, you can begin using it in ANY document you work with.

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Create a new document, or open an existing document where you want to insert the Quick Part you created.
  3. Select Insert > Quick Parts.
  4. You will see your Quick Part entry display with a preview:
  1. Click on the entry to insert it into your document.
  2. Voila, the block of information is now inserted into your document complete with the formatting you chose.

Edit a Quick Part

When you have a range of Quick Parts to use you are going to need to edit one of them at some stage. Many users look for an Edit option within the Quick Parts button – however it doesn’t exist. The only way to edit or change the content is to recreate the Quick Part using the same name to overwrite the original.

To edit a Quick Part Building Block, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new blank document (Ctrl + N on the keyboard).
  2. Select Insert > Quick Parts.
  3. Insert the Quick Part that you wish to edit, however make note of the EXACT name you gave the original Quick Part.
  4. Once the Quick Part content is inserted, edit it as needed.
  5. Now highlight the entire Quick Part again.
  6. Click the Insert tab and select the Quick Parts button.
  7. From the menu select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
  8. When prompted to give the Quick Part a Name, ensure you use the exact same name as the original version.
  9. Click OK.
  10. A message will appear to confirm you wish to redefine the Building Block entry:
  1. Click Yes.
  2. The Quick Part will now be overwritten with the new version.

This is a nice easy way to quickly reuse content within Microsoft Word. Separate Quick Parts can also be created in Microsoft Outlook for use in email messages which can allow you to quickly build consistent responses to email enquiries you receive on a regular basis.

Don’t forget to check out my other Microsoft Word articles here.

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