Microsoft Word 2007 (Part 3): Building Blocks

Posted by on Wednesday 24 Feb 2010

In our first two Microsoft Word 2007 tutorials, we explored the new Word 2007 user interface and how to work with and format text in Microsoft Word 2007. In this third tutorial in our Microsoft Word series, we explore the building blocks available in Microsoft Word to create professional looking documents. A building block is a preformatted document component which is styled to look professional and rivals documents created by professional desktop publishers. These powerful components will make your document look like you spent a great amount of time styling it. Learn how to use these powerful building blocks in this free Word 2007 tutorial.

Working with Building Blocks

Introduction to Building Blocks

New in Word 2007 is an extensive library of preformatted document components called “building blocks” that you can use to “build” a particular type of document. These include cover pages, headers and footers, tables and text boxes, all unified by matching designs. Not only can you use building blocks to put together a professional-looking document with no more than a few clicks, but you can also create your own building blocks, reusable document parts that contain your custom formatting. Besides being a huge time-saver, these building blocks can ensure uniformity across all your company’s documents.

Building blocks appear in their respective galleries throughout Word; for instance, the cover page building blocks appear in the Cover Page gallery on the Ribbon’s Insert tab.

cover page gallery.gif

Building blocks can be added and removed to a document in seconds. To add a building block, just select it from the gallery. To remove it, select the Remove option that can be found at the bottom of most of the galleries. Building blocks added to a document include placeholder text, which you type over with your own. Placeholder text is surrounded by square brackets ([]); when you type over the text, Word removes the brackets:

building blocks placeholder text.gif

Word is even sophisticated enough to include such automated tools as date pickers to let you choose the right date to enter:

building blocks placeholder text 2.gif

If you decide you don’t like the design you chose, you can replace it by selecting another from the gallery. Word remembers all your entries to the placeholder text fields and adds them to the new design:

building blocks placeholder text 3.gif

Some galleries have more options for inserting building blocks, which are available by right-clicking on the building block. For example, right-clicking on a building block in the Cover Page gallery opens a menu with choices for positioning the cover page in your document:

building block gallery right-click menu.gif

In the remainder of this section of the tutorial, you’ll learn more about how to work with building blocks, including creating your own building blocks and sharing them with other users.

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Category: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word Tags: , , ,


  • Jason March 18, 2010 at 1:28 am

    All I can say is WOW. The tutorials that you guys have compiled rival what I learned in college. This is awesome stuff. I am in the process of starting a “Freelance and Virtual Office” business and your site will definitely be something that I know that even people with no previous experience using the software will be able to easily understand. Heck I use the software all the time and I was able to pick up tips that I did not know. You guys have done a great job. Absolutely the most informative and productive “Lost Hours” I have spent online in a long time :)

  • Madgri March 24, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I missed a guide about use and resources of PUBLISH. I was told that this will replace Windows Live Writer but I still can’t see how.

  • Dave April 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Used to be that we could format page numbers so that they consistently appeared in the outside margin; in other words, on the right hand margin of a right hand page and the left hand margin of a left hand page. I can’t find a way to do that any more? Have I missed it or is it no longer possible?

  • Martha April 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    This is great stuff! I am an “old timer” refreshing my knowledge in Windows/Office in their new versions (I started with MS-DOS and WordStar :D) so, this is a very good way to actualize my knowledge without long reading and boring books! Thanks a lot!

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