Tip of the week # 597
1 March 2020

Save and insert frequently used tables (Word and Outlook) *

Preparing a new Word training module (more about that later) I fell in love all over again with "Quick Parts". If only Microsoft had given it a different name I'm sure it wouldn't be such an underutilised feature. I've already written tips about how to use it for text and graphics in Word and Outlook (see tip_486.php and tip_335.php), but did you know you can also save tables or part of a table as a "building block" (another unintuitive term, given by Microsoft)?

If you regularly use tables with particular text and formatting you probably copy and paste them from somewhere else. But why not save time and add it to the Quick Tables gallery in Word or Outlook for quick retrieval.

Here's how:

  1. Select (part of) the formatted table.
  2. Click on the Table button on the Insert tab.
  3. Hover over Quick Tables and click on Save Selection to Quick Tables Gallery at the bottom of the dialogue box.
  4. Type a name to identify the reusable table. This name can also be used for shortcut purposes, so keep it short and memorable.
  5. Click OK or press ENTER.
  6. If the name you typed in step 4 already exists and you do not want to overwrite the existing table, click on No.

To reuse the table simply type the name you identified in step 4 and press F3. If you prefer or cannot remember what you called the table, click on the Table button on the Insert tab and scroll down the list of Built-In Quick Tables to find yours.

NOTE: When you have added or modified building blocks and you close down Microsoft Word you will be asked whether or not you want to save them for future use. (I cannot see a reason why you wouldn't click on Save.)

Finally, as mentioned at the start of the tip, I've added a new Microsoft Word module to our course portfolio, handpicking the most popular topics from the Intermediate and Advanced training. You probably think "I have been using Word for years and I can make it work to meet my day-to-day tasks." If you are a "stuck in a rut" user you might want to work smarter rather than harder. But if you don't have the time to sift through the fast amount of information that's out there, this new module is for you! Come along on 17 April and discover overlooked an underused tools that can help you save time and streamline your workday. (Team discounts are available and training can also take place at your premises.)

Related tips

  1. Create, store and insert frequently used text and graphics (Word and Outlook) : tip_486.php
  2. Create and insert frequently used text and graphics (Outlook) : tip_335.php
  3. Tricks and shortcuts for selecting blocks of text (Word) : tip_50.html


* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.