Introduction to Building Blocks

Practice Labs Module
21 minutes

The "Introduction to Building Blocks and Linking Text" module provides you with the instructions and devices to develop your hands on skills in the following topics: Understanding Building Blocks, Linking Text.

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The Introduction to Building Blocks and Linking Text module provides you with the instructions and devices to develop your hands on skills in the following topics.

  • Understanding Building Blocks
  • Linking Text

Lab time: It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete this lab.

Exercise 1 - Understanding Building Blocks

Word makes much use of building blocks, or Quick Parts. They're not only found in the Quick Parts gallery, but in other galleries throughout the application: headers, footers, tables, text boxes, and more. You're not limited to what's built in; you can create your own building blocks from content you want to reuse.

You will learn how to:

  • Create building blocks
  • Manage building blocks
  • Save building blocks

It's easy to use building blocks without really thinking much about them, but the more you do, the more ways you find to use them. If you've ever saved a custom header or watermark, you've created a building block that appears in its own appropriate gallery. If you keep formatting your page numbers the same way by hand, that's something you can save as a building block. If you have your company contact information saved in a document somewhere, and paste it into new documents rather than typing it out every time, you're basically working with a building block. However, you could save even more time just by saving it as a quick part.

Whether they're headers, footers, formulas, quick parts, or anything else, you can access your full list of building blocks from the Building Blocks Organizer. To do so, in the Insert tab's Text group, click Quick Parts > Building Blocks Organizer.

Exercise 2 - Linking Text

It's common to use text boxes as a stylized way to present a few choice words, but you can also use them as a layout element for larger amounts of text. You can even format your entire document by linking multiple text boxes so that text can flow smoothly from one to the next.

You will learn how to:

  • Link text boxes
  • Break links between text boxes

Word isn't really intended for desktop publishing, but it still has most of the features you need to make complex layouts for flyers, magazines, books, or other publications. One of these features is the concept of the story, or a single flow of text that passes from one layout box to another, and can be selected or edited together as one.

When you link text boxes together into a single story, you can type or paste text into the first of them, and when it fills up that box, it moves to the next text box, in sequence. Within the story, you can select and format text just as if it were in a single contiguous part of the document; however, the boxes are arranged on the page. The boxes themselves define how the text is placed and in what order: when you edit text, or resize the boxes, Word automatically rearranges it to fit the available space.

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