Use “Quick Parts” in Word to re-use pieces of text

Metallic typesetting letters

You can save pre-defined pieces of text for re-use in different Word documents

I have described in other blog posts 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. You can find these posts here:

Re-setting Word Options

Autocorrect – more tricks

“Quick Parts” is a similar option 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.

Quick Parts

So, how do you create a chunk of text (a “boilerplate”) for re-use ?

  • 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 you wish to select)
  • 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.

Image by freepik