How to Add a Header Building Block to the Microsoft Word Header Gallery

Santo Ae

If you use a specific header in your documents, you can save yourself a lot of time by including your header in the gallery that exist in Word 2007, 2010 or 2013.

1. If you have already created your header in an existing document, open this document. Otherwise open a blank Word document.

2. Double click in the top margin to put yourself into the header/footer layer.

3. If you are working in a blank document take the time to create the header that you want to be able to use in multiple documents. If you have already created your header, skip this step.

4. Highlight/select your header.

5. Click on the Insert Tab, go to the Header & Footer group and click on the Header button.

Note: You will also find this button on the Header & Footer ribbon.

6. Click on ‘Save Selection to Header Gallery.’

Note: If this option is grayed out it means that you haven’t selected anything so there is nothing for Word to save into the gallery.

7. The ‘Create New Building Block’ dialog box will appear.

8. Name your header. Because we are going to put this building block into a gallery of headers, don’t worry about including the word ‘Header’ in your name. If you want the building block to appear near the beginning of the list of headers, start the name with an asterisk or number; for example use ‘*correspondence.’

9. The Header gallery should already be chosen so you shouldn’t need to change the gallery option.

10. If you click on the drop-down arrow beside ‘Category’ you will have a choice between Built-In, General, or Create New Category. Built-In is the best choice if you want your Header to appear near the top of the Header Gallery. The General Category only has Headers that you have added, but it comes after all the built-in headers. If you want you can create a category of your own, although I tend to save this for Quick Parts rather than the other galleries. The headers for each category are arranged in alphabetical order.

11. It is a good idea to add a description in the box provided. This can be extremely useful if you have created a lot of different headers.

12. Leave the other options with their default choices and Click OK.

Your customized header is now in the gallery with all the other headers.

Test to see if your header works.

13. Open a document that you can insert your header in to.

14. On the Insert ribbon in the Header & Footer group click on Header. The existing headers will appear at the top of the menu that opens. Scroll down to find your header and click on it. You don’t need to be in the Header/Footer layer. Your header will be automatically inserted into your document.

Note: The quickest way to get back into your document layer is to double click in the body of your document.

These same steps can be used to add a custom building block to any gallery in Word. Some of the other galleries you will find are footers, watermarks, page numbers, text boxes and quick parts.

Stop reinventing the wheel. Saving your own custom building blocks into Word’s galleries will not only save you time, it will also ensure that your documents have a consistent look and therefore make you look more professional. This technique is too good not to add to your box of tools.

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