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How to Create Reusable Content - Editing the Stock Templates

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This is Part 1 of 5 on how to reuse content when creating documents with Proposal Pack Wizard software. There are four ways to make edits to the stock Proposal Kit Word templates and Excel spreadsheets. Editing the stock templates is how you can reuse your own content and reduce the amount of work creating future proposals, business plans, grants and other documents.

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Create Reusable Content - Making Copies of Stock Templates

In this video we're going to show you one of the most common ways to customize the Proposal Pack and Wizard software for people who are writing multiple proposals. One of the things you do when you're writing multiple proposals is you don't want to have to retype the same material that's consistent across all your proposals. Such as company information, your list of services and so on. So the way we do this is you edit our stock templates that you're going to be using for all your proposals.

We're going to illustrate this using one of our design themes, our Accounting #1 Pack. Now this works with any of our hundreds of packs for any kind of proposals. There are four different ways you can edit our stock templates.

We'll show you all four methods here. The first is to locate the install folder for your Proposal Pack. By default they're installed into a ProposalKit folder with a subfolder ProposalPack.

And then the design theme name. So, for whatever package you installed look down the folder directory structure of your Proposal Packs until you find a Documents subfolder and then a Word subfolder. Now the Excel spreadsheets are in the Spreadsheets folder.

So in the Word subfolder, once you find this folder with over a couple thousand templates in it. These are the stock Word documents that are assembled together into every proposal you create. So all four methods we're going to show you are just different methods of editing the templates in this subfolder.

So this first method is the manual way of just going straight into the subfolder using your operating system. So we'll show you how to open one specific template. The Cover Letter.

So we'll just scroll down all the templates. They are titled by the names of the actual chapters. So we'll just go down and find the Cover Letter.doc.

So in the Wizard interface when you select the Cover Letter chapter this is the Word document it's going to assemble into your document. So we're actually going to edit this template and save it so you can see how the edits show up in your assembled document later. Okay, so we're going to take this stock template and we've written some text already.

We're just going to insert it in place. Now we have an edited Cover Letter that's going to get used for all of our proposals. Now we're going to illustrate this using the idea of an accounting services proposal.

We're going to save this Cover Letter. Now you'll note we're saving over the top of the existing templates. We're not doing a Save As.

We're not changing any file names. Okay, so we've edited one template manually. Now we'll show you the second way which is to use the browser–based organizer.

These are the red icons on your desktop. It says Open Proposal Pack and then whatever design theme you have. Now this time we're going to open up a different template.

We'll open up the Title Page. So we can either click the All Editable Templates link here or we can do these dropdowns. And we'll just go to the Top 40 Most Common because that's where we know the Title Page is.

Now once you get to any of the chapter templates in this organizer clicking the Open Document button will basically do the same thing as if we were in that folder and double–click the Title Page template. So now we've opened up another template that's in that same folder. Let's just say we're going to always use the Title Page.

Okay, so now we've edited two templates all those edits will always get pulled into every proposal created. Okay, now the third way to get to editing those templates is to use this Document Styles button. Edit Style, click this Manage Templates tab and click the Edit Stock Templates button.

Now this screen gives you access to all of the thousands of templates. Now we're going to edit the Services Provided chapter because we've decided the services chapter is what we're going to use for all of our proposals. In this case now it can be kind of difficult to find an individual chapter using these dropdowns.

So we're going to sort these in alphabetical order to make it easier to find the Services Provided chapter. So click this in alphabetical order and now we want to find the Services Provided so we'll just go down to the S's. Find the Services Provided template and you'll see a yellow arrow pointing to a button called Edit Selected Template.

All this did was open the services template from that documents Word subfolder. We're going to paste in some text that we want to use for all of our proposals. We'll save this template.

Okay, so that is the third way you can edit our stock templates. Now the fourth way is when you're actually in the Document Project screen selecting templates for your project. So click the Document Projects button.

Now for all of our proposals we've decided we're going to use a Cover Letter, a Title Page, a Back Page, the Services Provided page, and a Cost Summary page. These are a good general set of chapters for most services proposals. Now you have thousands of other options to add additional chapters to flesh out any kind of services proposal or any type of proposal.

But for this example our base proposals are always going to be these five templates. Now because we're going to use the same set of chapters for all future proposals we're also going to create a preset. This way we don't have to find and reselect all of our chapters every single time.

We'll call it My Proposal Layout. Create a preset. And now every time in the future we come back we'll select this preset.

It'll automatically load our five chapters and when we built the document it'll load in all these edited templates we've been working on as well. Okay now the fourth way to edit stock templates is from this screen. The Add Templates tab.

Click the Show all Templates button and you'll see you have access to the thousands of chapters from these dropdowns. Again, we're going to sort this alphabetically because we want to find certain chapters a little quicker. Now also there's another optimization here.

We can click this Only Show Templates Selected in my Project. That will narrow these lists down to only the five chapters we actually have selected in our project. This makes it much faster to open templates because now you can see we can quickly go to the Cost Summary without having to scan through thousands of pages in these drop downs.

So now that we've highlighted Cost Summary we can click the Edit Template button. Now if you're using the Expert Wizard it's also going to open an Excel spreadsheet. For Novice users you'll still have the spreadsheets available but they won't be directly linked into your Word documents.

For Expert Wizard users these cells will actually be linked into your document if you want. So this example will show you how to edit a stock Excel template. So we've put in some stock line items and stock prices and will save the Cost Summary Calculator and will make some edits to this Cost Summary template.

Now notice we're leaving these tags in the Cost Summary template. These tags will be replaced with links to the Excel spreadsheet for the Expert Wizard users. For Novice users these will be replaced with some stock line items and you can manually edit the cost summaries for each proposal.

Alright, so now we've edited four templates and all of our edits will be pulled into every proposal project we create in the future. So we'll give this project a title. Call it Accounting Proposal #1.

Our Company Data is already in here, our Client Data that'll change for every client. And now we're going to build this proposal. Now because we're using the Excel spreadsheets we're going to link those into this document just to illustrate the Expert level feature.

Now we only are going to use four line items in the spreadsheet so we'll select 4 here just because that's going to make less manual editing of the Cost Summary once it's generated by it by not adding extra lines that we don't need. Okay, now our documents have been generated and we'll show the Expert level feature here with a linked spreadsheet. So these were our stock line items we've put in.

And you'll see the text that we had entered into the stock Cover Letter has been pulled in and the Client Data and Company Data have been merged in. And you'll see the linked Excel spreadsheet line items and prices have been pulled into the Cost Summary. Now for Novice users you would just be manually hand editing this Cost Summary But also see our edits to the stock templates have been pulled in.

The edits we made to the stock services page right here were pulled in. So every document we would generate from now on will use the same set of chapters and the edited text that we had saved in the stock templates. And you can keep making changes to the stock templates as often as you like.

One benefit to having all the stock templates in separate documents that are all assembled is it that you can make even more custom changes to future proposals. So let's say one of our next proposals we needed to write was for a larger project and we needed to add additional chapters to it beyond the five stock ones that we commonly use. We'll just go and add a new project.

We'll go and select our preset. We'll load our five common chapters that we use for all of our proposals. But now let's say we want to add some additional chapters for this new proposal.

So say we want to add a Payroll page and a Bookkeeping and Tax pages. So we'll add a Bookkeeping, a Payroll, Taxes and a Reporting page. We're going to add four new chapters.

So now we're up to nine chapters for the next proposal. So click OK. Click OK. We'll fill in our Client Data screen.

I will save the project and we'll build the second proposal. Now the second proposal will use the same edits that we had made to the 5 stock templates. Plus it's going to pull in four new chapters.

Okay, now our second proposal has been generated and you'll see again that's pulled in our stock edits. But now it's also pulled in a Reporting chapter, the Bookkeeping chapter, Payroll, and Tax chapters. So this is how you can more efficiently create multiple proposals over time and minimize the amount of work you're doing by not having to retype common information that gets used over and over.

Plus the ability to customize your proposals even more with additional chapters or changes to the layout.

Proposal KitPublished by Proposal Kit, Inc.