Building blocks in Microsoft Word 2007

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 5/23/2007, in Category Word 2007
Views: 78922
Abstract: In this article we will learn what building blocks are and how to create and use them to make working with Word documents convenient and time saving.

Building blocks are a piece of content that you may want to use over and over in your documents. This chunk of content could be text, graphics, or a combination of both, auto text, watermarks and so on. You can store this block of content in a gallery and you can insert them in your document when required.


An example of building block could be contact information of an organization, which would be required in several documents of the organization. If such a block is to be repeated in number of documents then the first time you type such piece of text and you know that you are going to use that in future create a building block also known as ‘Quick Part’ out of it, that you never have to type that again.

Creation of a building block

Building Blocks can be created from an existing document or from a by typing a new text too.

1.       Open the existing document or type in the text you want to create as a quick part in the document.

2.       Select the text and go to the Insert tab on the ribbon. In the Text group click on Quick Parts and from the options displayed select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery or press ALT+F3. A Create New Building Block dialog box pops up.

MS Word 2007 Create New Building Block Dialog

Fill in the fields:

a.       Name: Give an appropriate name to the building block.

b.      Gallery: Select the Gallery that you want to display your building block. You can select it as Quick Parts.

c.       Category:  Select a category, such as General or you can create a new category.

d.      Description: You can enter a valid description for the building block. For instance, closing text for all the Job Postings.

e.      Save in: Select the template in which you want to save the building block. You can save it to Normal template (Normal.dotm).

f.        Options: Options are set for how the block is inserted. The choices are;

Insert Content in its own paragraph – is for content that should not become a part of another paragraph, even though the users cursor is in the middle of a paragraph.

 Insert Content in its own page- is to insert the building block on a separate page.

Insert Content only  – is for all other content.

3.       Click OK when all the options are correctly filled in the dialog box. This creates the block in the gallery.

Using Building Blocks

You can insert the building block in a new document or an existing document. Follow the steps as given below:

1.       Open a new document or an existing document. Click on the position where you want to insert the block.

2.       On the ribbon select the Insert tab. In the Text group click on Quick Parts.

3.       You may find the building block under Quick Parts menu since you have just created it. Few of the recent building blocks are displayed in this menu. Else you need to select the option Building Blocks Organizer. From this dialog box, you can select the particular building block. There are lots of pre-built building blocks provided by Microsoft Word 2007. You can sort the organizer according to the Name, Gallery, Category or Template. If you know the name of the building block you can sort on the name and select it. When you select a particular building block, a preview is shown in the right hand section of the dialog box. This makes it easy and convenient for you to choose an appropriate building block that suites your need.

4.       Click on Insert button.

NOTE: You can delete the building block or edit properties of the block in the same dialog box. 


Editing Building Blocks

There may be occasions where a need to change the properties of a building block may arise. Also when you have many building blocks put to use, you may feel the need to organize them.  


For editing the building block you need to edit the source and recreate it replacing the old version. In other words, you have to insert a building block into your document, make the necessary changes and save it with the same name.

1.       Follow the same steps as you insert the building block in the document.

2.       Edit the building block.

3.       Select the altered text.

4.       Go to the Insert Tab on the ribbon, in the Text section select Quick Parts and then click on Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery or press ALT+F3.

5.       The Create New Building Block dialog box pops up, type the original name, category and gallery for the building block entry and then click on Ok. 

      NOTE: To replace the original building block the name, category and gallery should be the same as the original. You can also add the building block to as many galleries as you want. 

6.       An alert pops up – Do you want to redefine the building block? Click Yes.

Organizing a building block means to edit the properties of the blocks, sort through them and delete the ones you no longer need. On the ribbon select the Insert tab. In the Text group click on Quick Parts. Select the Building Blocks Organizer that opens the window listing all the building blocks. Now you can sort them on the Name, Gallery, Category or Template. This helps when you are looking for a specific building block.

You can edit the properties of blocks by clicking on Edit Properties button. This would pop up the Modify Building Block dialog box. Here you can modify the building blocks properties like its name, gallery, category, description, the template where the block is saved and the options. Once edited you click on Ok to save the changes.

 If you want to delete any particular block then select the building block and click on Delete button.

Rename a building block

1.       On the ribbon select the Insert tab. In the Text group click on Quick Parts and select the option Building Blocks Organizer.

2.       Select the building block you want to rename and click on Edit Properties button.

3.       In the Modify Building Block change the name of the block and click Ok.

4.       An alert pops up – Do you want to redefine the building block? Click Yes.


In this article we have learnt how to create, find, insert, edit and organize building blocks.

This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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Feedback - Leave us some adulation, criticism and everything in between!
Comment posted by TanyaR - if a custom building block category is created, can it be deleted & if so how? on Friday, December 21, 2007 1:37 PM
- if a custom building block category is created, can it be deleted & if so how?
Comment posted by Arfan ghani on Sunday, May 18, 2008 2:51 AM
Each time I open the "quick parts" to go for the "save selection to quick parts gallery", this button is "dim" means not available to me.
Comment posted by S. Powers on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:16 AM
When previewing the building blocks, the font size is too small to see. How can I change this?