Microsoft Office Word 2007 includes a number of tools designed to help you speed up typing repetitive text and those monotonous tasks you might face daily or deal with those infrequent tasks that you rarely carry out that usually take a few moments to refresh your memory. One of the tools that will assist you with your productivity is a long-standing, favorite time-saving feature that has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is now more powerful and more visible than ever beforean improvement so far-reaching that its old name could no longer adequately describe its new functionality. What was formerly known as AutoText has been reborn in Office Word 2007 as Building Blocks and is the primary focus of this article.
You can customize Building Block entries to fit your needs, import new Building Blocks from Microsoft Office Online (www.office.microsoft.com), create custom Building Blocks and add them to their relevant galleries, or use custom galleries that can be added easily to your Quick Access Toolbar. You can view the many Building Blocks by browsing the various galleries, or you can check out the entire collection at once by opening the Building Blocks Organizer, found on the Insert tab under the Quick Parts options, as shown in Figure 1.
Tip While viewing a Building Block gallery, you can quickly locate a Building Blocks entry in the Building Blocks Organizer by right-clicking a Building Block, such as a Cover Page or a Header, and then clicking Organize And Delete. The Building Blocks Organizer opens with the entry selected automatically.
- Name Enter a unique name for the Building Block. If you have a set of related Building Blocks, consider starting all of the names with the same first word to group the pieces together when necessary, such as Annual Report Cover, Annual Report Header, and Annual Report Table.
- Gallery Add your new Building Block to a specific gallery, such as Cover Pages, Page Numbers, Headers, Footers, Quick Tables, Watermarks, and so on. If your Building Block is a general Building Block and isn't related to an existing gallery, use Quick Parts so that they will appear under the Quick Parts gallery. Tip Some Building Block galleries perform additional actions when you insert a Building Block from the gallery. For example, a Cover Page is added as the first page or is swapped with another previously inserted Cover Page. Headers, Footers, and Page Numbers are inserted in the Header and Footer layer in the document. To view other actions, right-click the Building Block entry and use an alternate command, shown previously in Figure 3.
- Category Place the Building Block in a category, shown on the Building Block galleries and in the Building Blocks Organizer. Consider creating a new category for your company or department so that all of the associated Building Blocks are placed in the same category throughout the Building Block galleries and to quickly sort them in the Building Blocks Organizer. Tip To display your Building Blocks at the top of the Building Block galleries, create a Category name that starts with a symbol, such as an asterisk, or place the name in parentheses.
- Description Provide a brief description to help remind you and inform others about the main purpose of the Building Block. Descriptions appear as enhanced ScreenTips in the Building Block gallery (provided that Show Feature Descriptions In Screen Tip is turned on in Word Options) and also appear below the preview pane when you select a Building Block in the Building Blocks Organizer.
- Save In Building Blocks can only be saved in templates. You can save Building Blocks in Building Blocks.dotx (selected by default), Normal.dotm, or a global template so that they are available to all open documents. They can also be saved in a document template that makes the Building Blocks available only to documents using that template. The Save In list contains Building Blocks.dotx, Normal.dotm, loaded global templates, the attached document template for the active document if it's a template other than Normal.dotm, and any saved template provided that it is open and the current file. If you are creating Building Blocks to share with others, you want to save your Building Blocks in a separate template so you can distribute them. Note If you save or modify a Building Block in Building Blocks.dotx, Normal.dotx (provided that the Prompt Before Saving Normal Template option is turned on in the Advanced area of Word Options), or a global template, you are prompted to save changes to the template when you exit Word. For attached document templates, you are prompted to save changes to the template on closing the document.
- Options Specify whether the Building Block should be Inserted As Content only at the location of the cursor (such as an equation), Inserted In Its Own Paragraph (such as a heading), or Inserted In Its Own Page (inserts a page break before and after the Building Block). Tip Use the Save Selection To Gallery Name gallery found at the bottom of the Building Block galleries to quickly access the Create New Building Block dialog box and automatically select the corresponding gallery in the dialog box.
- Right-click a gallery item and choose Edit Properties.
- Click Quick Parts on the Insert tab, click Building Blocks Organizer, select the name of the Building Block in the organizer list, and click the Edit Properties button.