Outlook Tutorials - Quick Parts

If you need to type in same pieces of text, insert same graphics in new composing, replying, or forwarding messages in Outlook, how do you ease the repeated work? Comparing to retyping the same content time after time, Outlook provides an amazing Quick Parts feature to help us reuse any pieces of text, graphics, symbols in a composing message body easily.

Table of Content

Note: Methods introduced on this page apply to Microsoft Outlook 2019 desktop program in Windows 10. And the instructions may vary significantly or slightly depending on the version of Microsoft Outlook and the Windows environments.


1. What's Quick Parts?

The Quick Parts feature is a library of content that you can enter in the message body regularly, such as pieces of text, graphics, symbols, etc. By the Quick Parts library, you can quickly reuse all items stored in it to your message body immediately.

The items stored in the Quick Parts library are defined as building blocks by Microsoft Office, and AutoText is a type of building blocks for us to reuse.


2. Locations of Quick Parts

2.1 Location of the Quick Parts feature

In the new composing, replying, or forwarding message windows, the Quick Parts feature locates in the Text group on the Insert tab.

2.2 Location of the Quick Parts file

As we know, the items of the quick parts gallery are stored in a file named as NormalEmail.dotm. The NormalEmail.dotm file is stored in the following folder path:
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates

Open a folder, paste the folder path into the Address box, and press the Enter key. Then you will get the NormalEmail.dotm file in the opening folder.

Tips: When we paste the folder path in the Address box and press the Enter key, the %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates will automatically change to C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.


3. Create a new Quick Parts entry

You can easily create a new Quick Parts entry when composing new, replying, or forwarding messages in Outlook.

1. In the new composing, replying, or forwarding message window, select the piece of text that you will save as Quick Parts entry in the message body.

2. Click Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.

3. In the Create New Building Block dialog, please:
(1) Type in a name in the Name box;
(2) Specify a category from the Category drop-down list;
(3) Type in description words about this new entry in the Description box;
(4) Choose an insert model from the Options drop-down list.

Tips:
(1) You can add the new Quick Parts entry into a new category: Click in the Category box, select Create New Category from the drop-down list, and then create a new category in the new popping out dialog.

(2) There are three insert models in the Options drop-down list:
A. Insert content only: Insert the specified Quick Parts entry at the cursor in the message body;
B. Insert content in its own paragraph: Insert the specified Quick Parts entry in a separate paragraph;
C. Insert content in its own page: The specified Quick Parts entry seems to be inserted in a separate paragraph in the message body. However, in the print preview (File > Print), you will see it stays in a separate page.

4. Click the OK button in the Create New Building Block dialog.

Then the selected piece of text or objects is saved as a Quick Parts entry in Outlook.


4. Insert a Quick Parts entry in Message body

The Quick Parts entries can be reused in message bodies easily by clicking only.

4.1 Insert a Quick Parts entry

In the new composing, replying, or forwarding message windows, put the cursor in the message body where you will insert a Quick Parts entry, and click Insert > Quick Parts, and then click the specified Quick Part entry from the drop-down menu.

Then the specified Quick Part entry is inserted at the cursor position or new paragraph/page next to the cursor position.

Alternatively, in the Quick Parts drop-down menu, you can right click the specified Quick Part entry, and then select Insert at Current Document Position, Insert at Beginning of Document, or Insert at End of Document from the context menu as you need.

4.2 Insert Quick Parts entries by hotkeys

In the message body, type in the name of a Quick Part entry, and press the F3 Key, then the Quick Part entry name will be replaced with its content immediately.


5. Rename a Quick Parts entry

Sometimes, you may need to change the name of a Quick Part entry. You can easily rename it as follows:

1. In the new composing, replying, or forwarding message window, click Insert > Quick Parts, then in the drop-down menu right click the specified entry and select Edit Properties from the right-clicking menu.

2. In the Modify Building Block dialog, type in a new entry name in the Name box, and click the OK button.

3. In the popping out reconfirming dialog, click the Yes button.

Then in the Quick Parts drop-down menu, you will see the specified entry has been renamed already.


6. Edit a Quick Parts entry

Sometimes, there are some misspelling in the content of a Quick Part entry, or we need to update information in the content, or for other reasons, we need to change the entry content. However, it seems Outlook does not support it at all. Never mind! we can insert the Quick Part entry in the message body, edit the content, and then save the edited content as a same-name entry to overwrite the original one.

In my case, there is a misspelling in the entry content, and I want to change the bullet style in it, I can do as follows:

1. In the new composing, replying, or forwarding message window, click Insert > Quick Parts, then in the drop-down menu click the specified entry I will edit.

2. Now the Quick Part entry is inserted in the message body. Edit and format the content as need.

3. Select the edited content, and click Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.

4. In the Create New Building Block dialog, make sure type in the completely same name as the original entry name in the Name box, select the same category from the Category drop-down list, and click the OK button.

5. And click the Yes button in the popping out reconfirming dialog.

Then in the Quick Parts drop-down menu, you will see the specified entry has been edited and shown the new content.


7. Remove Quick Parts entries

You can also delete Quick Parts entries from the gallery in Outlook.

7.1 Remove one or multiple Quick Parts entry

1. In the new composing, replying, or forwarding message window, click Insert > Quick Parts, then in the drop-down list right click the specified entry, and select Organize and Delete from the right-clicking menu.

2. Now the Building Blocks Organizer dialog comes out, and the specified entry is highlighted by default. We can click the Delete button to remove it directly.

3. Then click the Yes button in the popping out reconfirming dialog.

Tips: If you need to remove other Quick Parts entries, select one entry in the Building Blocks Organizer dialog, and click the Delete button. And repeat this operation to remove other entries one by one.

4. Close the Building Blocks Organizer dialog.

Then the specified Quick Parts entries are removed.

7.2 Remove all Quick Parts entries in bulk

If you need to remove the whole Quick Parts gallery from Outlook, you can do as follows:

1. Close Outlook.

2. Open the folder containing the default file of Outlook Quick Parts gallery: open a folder, paste below folder path in the Address box, and press the Enter key.
Folder Path: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates

3. In the opening folder, find out the NormalEmail.dotm file, right click, and select Delete from the right-clicking menu.

Tips: Alternatively, you can also select the NormalEmail.dotm file, and press Delete key to remove it.

When you launch Microsoft Outlook later, and open a new composing, replying, or forwarding message window, you will see all Quick Part entries are removed in bulk from the Quick Parts drop-down menu.


8. Back up and restore Quick Parts gallery

For example, you want to immigrate the Outlook Quick Parts gallery to other computers/laptops, or share the gallery to your colleagues, classmates, or something else, you can get a backup of the Outlook Quick Parts gallery. And the backup makes it possible to restore your Outlook Quick Parts gallery for accidents.

8.1 Back up the Quick Parts Gallery

1. Close Outlook.

2. Open a folder, paste below folder path into the Address box, and press the Enter key.
Folder Path: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates

Then folder containing the default document of Quick Parts gallery is opening.

3. The information of Outlook Quick Parts gallery is stored in the NormalEmail.dotm file. Right click this file, and select Copy from the right-clicking menu.

Tips: Alternatively, you can select the NormalEmail.dotm file, and press Ctrl + C keys to copy it.

4. Open the folder you will store the backup file, and press Ctrl + V keys to paste the file in this folder.

So far, we have got a backup file of Outlook Quick Parts Gallery. And you can immigrate it to other computers/laptops or share to other as you need.

8.2 Restore the Quick Parts Gallery

If you have backed up the Quick Parts gallery before, you can restore it in your Outlook if the gallery is lost by accidents, updates, or other reasons.

1. Close Outlook.

2. Open the folder containing the backup file, select the backup file, and press Ctrl + C keys to copy it.

3. Open the folder where the default document of the Outlook Quick Parts Gallery is stored: Open a folder, paste below folder path into the Address box, and press the Enter key.
Folder Path: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Templates

4. In the opening folder, press Ctrl + V keys to paste the backup file into the folder.

When you launch Outlook later, you will see the Quick Parts entries are restored in the Quick Parts drop-down menu in any new composing, replying, or forwarding message window.


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