Want to customize your solar proposal format? Here’s a powerful new set of tools.

When a prospect gets a solar proposal from you, it may well be the single most important factor in forming their impression of your company. We know that you need your proposals to be well designed, logical, and  consistent with the rest of your branding. Our enhanced proposal template editor makes it easier for you to create templates that result in proposals with exactly the format you want.

To access the new features, you will need administrative privileges for your account. Here is the process:

  1. Go into Settings and click on Proposal Templates at the left. If you are creating a new template, scroll to the bottom and click Build New Template. For existing templates, click the Edit button.
  2. If you are starting a new template, you will be presented with a set of choices to set up the initial page. Select the orientation (portrait or landscape) and the number of columns (1 or 2), and specify the margins.
  3. As you create pages, you will see their icons appear in the left-hand pane (under the heading “Pages”). You can rearrange their sequence by dragging and dropping, and you can edit any page by right-clicking on its icon.
  4. In the right-hand pane (under the heading “Component Library”) is a scrolling list of all the page elements available for you to add. The list is alphabetical, from “Aerial Image” to “The Good You’ll Be Doing”. To add any of these components to the page currently being edited, click on it. It will be added to the page, and you can then drag it into position. If you later decide you want to remove a component you’ve placed, you can simply drag it off the page.

pages & components 8-20-14
We have shifted to a page-oriented approach (from our previous document-oriented approach). This means that you construct each page individually. Each page is independent and there is no need for the previous “page break” feature.  This also means that you have to be careful to add only components that can fit on the page. If you add more components than there is space for, an overflow page will be created, but its layout may not be what you had in mind and its page number will be the same as the page that generated it.

You should also be wary of pages that seem to fit but are nearly full: unexpected turnover lines (for example, from a very long customer or company name) could cause overflow to a new page, in spite of the fact that a test case you tried actually did fit.

You can change the content and appearance of both the headers and footers. The “rich text” editor is used for this. Just click on the “pencil” icon of the header or footer to launch the editor. And you can still use the editor to add rich text paragraphs within the proposal itself, of course. You just drag the Rich Text Paragraph component in from the scrolling list at the right.

Whenever you use the rich text editor, you will probably find it helpful to work in full screen mode. Use the Maximize icon (third from the left on the bottom row of icons) to expand the Rich Text editor to its maximum size. When you are ready to save your text, click the icon again to shrink the window to its original size and click Save.

 expand rich text editor 8-20-14

As you work on creating your new template, don’t forget to save it frequently by clicking the Save button at the bottom. If you leave the editor without saving, your work will be lost.

When you add a new page to a template, it takes on the default characteristics (page orientation, page margins, columns, header and footer) that you have specified. You establish these defaults by clicking on the “Default” button at the right of the template name. Of course, once a new page has been created, you can override any of the defaults for that particular page.

 set template defaults 8-20-14

We encourage you to explore these new capabilities and see how easy it is to lay out your proposals exactly the way you prefer. And please let us know if you have any questions. 

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