Building Blocks and Galleries in Microsoft Word 2010

If you read my previous post, Building Blocks in Microsoft Word 2010, you might have noticed that I like Building Blocks. Actually, I’m a big fan of anything that saves time, and Building Blocks do just that.

When you first start creating Building Blocks, your inclination may be to just rename the block (maybe), and leave the rest alone. After you’ve used Building Blocks for a while, you may regret this approach:

  • All your Building Blocks are in the General category (even less descriptive than the Document1 title for new documents).
  • All your Building Blocks are in the Quick Parts gallery (which can get very extensive).

Organize Your Building Blocks

Unlike editing the actual Building Blocks, editing building block properties is pretty straightforward. Keep some things in mind:

  • Be consistent in how you name things:
    • How you name things will just help you locate them later.
    • You can use the same name if the block is stored in a different Category or Gallery.
  • Use logical categories:
    • Category names should reflect the block usage. Think about Outlook signatures. If you have different “See ya” text blocks you want to include, put them in the same category.
  • Use appropriate galleries:
    • The (usually) nice thing about galleries is that when you assign a block to a gallery, that block takes on the gallery’s attributes (put it in the Header gallery, it’s inserted in the header, etc.).

You can think of categories and names as levels of sorting. You can edit the building block properties in 2 ways:

  1. Right click on the building block whose properties you want to edit.
  2. Select Edit Properties.

    The Modify Building Block dialog box appears


  1. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, select Quick Parts.
  2. Select Building Blocks Organizer.
  3. In the Building Blocks Organizer, click the building block whose properties you want to edit (you can sort the list by Name, Gallery, Category or Template by clicking on the appropriate column header).
  4. Click Edit Properties. The Modify Building Block dialog box appears.

Once you have the dialog box open, make your changes and click OK. You’ll be asked if you want to redefine the building block, click OK.

If you know the gallery where the building block is stored, the first method is usually easier. In the future, we’ll talk about using the custom galleries that are available.

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