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Quick Parts Reusable Text in Microsoft Outlook

If you use you Microsoft Outlook 2007 or 2010 for email, there's a really cool feature you may not be aware of: Quick Parts reusable text.
You can create elements of text and store them in the Quick Parts gallery. With a click of the mouse you can insert one of these text elements into an email.
This is especially useful for a business that sends emails to clients. An email template might not cover all of the possible scenarios as easily as Quick Parts can.
Imagine having a different paragraph for FedEx shipping, UPS shipping, post office shipping, or local courier. You could even include a paragraph regarding delayed shipment for payments made by check if you don't ship until the check clears the bank.
It doesn't matter what type of business you have, if you send out a lot of emails, then Quick Parts reusable text will help you to streamline your outgoing emails.

Creating Reusable Text for Quick Parts
Highlight any text in an email to turn it into a reusable Quick Part. Then click on Quick Parts in the Text section of the Insert tab. Choose "Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery" at the bottom of the Quick Parts window.
From there you'll be able to name the text element and give it a category. You can leave the default category of "General" or you can create specialized categories to better organize your Quick Parts text elements. Naming the text element is for your eyes only so that you'll know from the name what the text element is; the name itself does not appear in the outgoing email.

Inserting Quick Parts Text Into an Email
Position the cursor where you want the text to appear just as if you were about to type it in. Then click on the text in your Quick Parts menu and it will insert that piece of text into the email.
The text is fully editable and you can even insert other pieces of Quick Parts text into the middle of an existing paragraph. You can also format your Quick Parts insertions just as you would any other text.

Editing Reusable Text in the Quick Parts Gallery
To edit or rename a Quick Parts text element, right-click the text in the Quick Parts menu and choose "Edit Properties." This brings up the editor window that allows you to change the wording or rename the Quick Part.

Deleting a Quick Part from the Gallery
To delete a Quick Part, right-click the text in the Quick Parts menu and choose "Organize and Delete." This brings up a window that lists all of your Quick Parts and from this window, you can either delete a Quick Part, or pull up the editor window with the "Edit Properties" button.
If the "Edit Properties" or "Organize and Delete" options are grayed out when you right-click on a Quick Part, you may have your email options set to create plain text emails. This creates a Quick Parts bug in some versions of Outlook Express.
To work around the bug, choose "Options" in your main Tools menu, then select the "Mail Format" tab. Choose to compose your email in HTML format and then Apply/Save the option change. This should activate the Edit/Delete options in your Quick Parts menu.
Once you are finished editing the Quick Parts, you can go back into your email options and set your "Mail Format" to compose in plain text again.

Benefits of Using Quick Parts Reusable Text
If you type the same things over and over again, you'll save a lot of time using Quick Parts. Outgoing emails will be more uniform as you won't be trying to remember how you wrote it before.
Quick Parts are more versatile than an email template. You might have a different paragraph for customers with a balance due as opposed to customers who paid in full at the time of purchase. Specialized shipping messages can be inserted, as well as different return policies depending on the type of product.
If you run a service business and someone asks for a quote, you can easily configure the quote for the specific services they asked about. If you are assigning a specific account representative or service person, you can add that person's name and contact information with a single click.

Short summary:
The Quick Parts text feature of Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010 can streamline how you write your outgoing emails. Learn how to create, insert, edit, and delete a Quick Parts text element, and how to workaround a common bug.


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