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A cool new feature we have added in Word 2007 is the ability to reuse content easily in order to help you put together great looking documents. We call this feature building blocks. Building blocks are essentially parts of a document that can be reused. For example, a company logo with a textual slogan can be stored as a reusable cover page.
Word 2007 provides a collection of common building blocks presented in visual galleries out of the box. All building block galleries use a rich thumbnail image to preview content before inserting it, like many other features in Office. But each gallery is also a feature in its own right, for example, cover pages will insert at the beginning of the document as expected, while headers go in the document header area and textboxes are inserted in the page the cursor is in.
Here is a screenshot of the Cover Page gallery:
There are also a number of hidden galleries not shown by default, which can be used by template authors and solutions developers creating a custom user interface. I will cover that in more detail in a later post.
Tomorrow, I will talk about inserting and swapping out building blocks in a document.
Let me know if you have any specific questions or comments that you would like me to address here or in future posts on building blocks.
Where are the building blocks stored? Can they be customized by developers?
Darryl – Those are great questions that I will answer in more depth in a later post. The quick answer to your questions is you can choose what template to store the content in. By default Word selects the Building Blocks.dotx template, where all built-in content is stored. You can also put the blocks in your Normal template or into any specific template that you’re editing. Yes they can be customized. Zeyad Rajabi (MS)
Building Blocks.docx are placed under %appdata%\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks. Try to rename the docx file to .zip and unzip it, then open the word\glossary\document.xml file, here you will find the different build in blocks. To include new blocks simply save a docuemnt, unzip it and include the document part into the building blocks document. Zeyad please let us know if this is a wrong way to add building blocks. Also check this url on how to add document selection to building Blocks: office.microsoft.com/.../HA102011621033.aspx Zeyad please give us more information on how the other content is organized in the dotx file, like how is it possible to include images
Jan – I am going to talk about customizing building blocks in a future post, which will allow me to go in more depth than a comment on this blog. A quick answer to your question is you can either add building blocks the way you mention or the way that is described at office.microsoft.com/.../HA102011621033.aspx. In terms of how the Open XML Formats are structured please reference Brian’s blog at blogs.msdn.com/.../default.aspx. Thanks,
Zeyad Rajabi (MS)
Is there a way to create blocks of reusable text and graphics that can be used in word and outlook? I have seen this question asked over and over again on the web, but I have never seen an answer.
Now that we can only insert one signature in an Outlook doc, I have created a bunch of Quick Parts that I use in lieu of typing repetitively. The Quick Parts list is getting a little unwieldy. Is there a way to view just the Quick Part names without seeing the actual text inside the little boxes?