You can save pre-defined pieces of text for re-use in different Word documents
In my last blog post, I described how you can use “autocorrect” in Word to correct your oft-repeated spelling mistakes automatically, and also to replace several words with just a few keystrokes.
There is a similar option called “Quick Parts” for more sophisticated situations.
The differences between “Quick Parts” and “Autocorrect” are:
- Quick parts can have more than 255 characters
- Quick parts can include formatting (such as a change of font)
- Quick parts can include images
- Autocorrect entries are stored in Word Options, whereas “Quick Parts” are stored in your document template
Note that I found that I could not “copy” an image from one program and then create a Quick Part (piece of auto-text) from it directly in Word. Instead, I found that it works if you “copy” from the first location, “paste” that into a Word document, and then create the “Quick Part” from the version that was pasted into the Word document.
So, how do you create a chunk of text for re-use (this is also sometimes called a “boilerplate”)?
- Create the text in a Word document (or paste it into a Word document if it has been copied from elsewhere)
- Select the text in the usual way (eg by dragging your mouse over the text to be selected)
- Go to the “Insert” menu
- Click on the “Quick Parts” option (it is in the “Text” group towards the right of the menu)
- Click on AutoText
- Click on “Save Selection to AutoText Gallery”
- Create a new name for this piece of boilerplate text or leave it as the default
- Click on OK
You can, of course, explore the other options in the dialog box, but you’ve now done all you need to create a “building block” for re-use in any Word document. The more advanced options are for making life easier when you have lots of pieces of boilerplate in the Quick Parts gallery and might need some more organisation in order to find them quicker than it would have been to just type them again!
How do you insert a piece of “boilerplate text” into your document?
- Make sure the cursor in your Word document is where you need it to be before inserting the boilerplate (or “building block”) at that place
- Go to the “Insert” menu and click on the “Quick Parts” option (in the “text” group towards the right of the menu)
- Click on AutoText
- Scroll through your list of pieces of boilerplate text to find the relevant one
- Highlight the desired piece of boilerplate by moving your cursor over it
- Left-click the mouse or hit the Enter key
That’s it. You can use boilerplate text for addresses, clauses in contracts, terms and conditions, and so on.
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