Release Date: August 27, 2018
Category: Writing Tools
Authors: Sonia M., Ph.D., E.L.S.
Microsoft Office programs have a lot of features that can save you time; however, you have to know they exist and where to look for them. If you find that you repeat text a lot in different documents or emails, the Quick Parts function in Word and Outlook may be able to save you a lot of time!
Quick Parts allows you to save frequently used chunks/snippets of text or graphics in Word or Outlook and then insert them into your document. For example, if you often use specific primers or background information or if you frequently send the same email text, you can save this text in Quick Parts to avoid the need to look it up and re-type it or cut and paste it into each new document or email message.
In your Word document, select and highlight the text that you want to add to Quick Parts. On the Insert tab of the ribbon, click the “Quick Parts” icon and select the bottom option, “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery” (see image below).
You will now see an entry box where you can organize your different text snippets. You must give each Quick Part a name (red arrow)—something that will remind you what the text is and that will allow you to easily differentiate and identify which snippet of text you want to use in the future. You must also select a category (green arrow) to add the text to. When you click the down arrow to the right of the Category field, you will also see an option to enter new categories, allowing you to easily customize and group similar-use snippets. For example, if you choose to enter your primers, you may wish to create a Category called “Primers,” and you can enter the primer name in the Name field. This will make it easy for you to enter their sequences into any future manuscript, grant proposal, or other document! You can also add even more information in the “Description” field (blue arrow) if you want to make notes or reminders to yourself about when to would use (or maybe even not use) specific text.
Once you’ve finished entering the information, just click OK, and you’re done! The text will be ready for future use!
Now that you have saved text in Quick Parts, you’re ready to use this text in any future document, and this is very easy. With the cursor located in your document wherever you want to add your text, click the Insert tab on the top ribbon and click “Quick Parts.” You will then be able to scroll through the text you previously saved and click the text you want. It will automatically insert into your document wherever you placed the cursor in your document.
Quick Parts is also available in the Outlook email program and can help you avoid re-typing the same, standard message to multiple recipients. This feature is used in Outlook the same way as in Word, and there are just a few differences in navigation based on the different user interfaces between Word and Outlook.
To use Quick Parts in Outlook, open a new email message, and in the message field of the email, enter the text that you would like to save. As with Word, you will use the Quick Parts icon that is on the Insert tab of your message window and save the text using the same steps described above for saving text in Word. To use the saved text into a new email, open a new message in Outlook and select the text that you want from the saved Quick Parts option on the Insert tab.
Text that you save in Word or Outlook Quick Parts does not appear in the other program’s Quick Part list, so if you have text that you would like to be able to use in both Word and Outlook, you will need to save it in both programs to be able to access it in both Word and Outlook.
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