Here are some of our favorite tips for working efficiently with the PandaDoc editor to create professional documents and templates.
Creating designer-grade documents
Visually-appealing proposals stand out and capture your audience’s attention. Our brains are wired to find images more stimulating, easier to comprehend, more persuasive, and easier to recall than text. People recall 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do.
To maximize the impact of your proposal and make a lasting impression, we recommend incorporating visual elements in your proposals whenever possible. PandaDoc has several different page types to allow you to create the perfect layout.
Choosing the right page type
When you add a new page, you can select “cover page,” “blank page,” “landscape,” or upload. Here’s the difference between the different page types:
Cover pages offer the greatest amount of design flexibility. Cover pages have absolute positioning which allows you to position and layer blocks however you’d like. They are most commonly used for – you guessed it – cover pages, but they can be used as many times throughout the document as needed. Typically used for design-rich pages, cover pages are used whenever you need to layer blocks.
A blank page is the standard PandaDoc page. As you add blocks, they will continue to build one continuous page. Keep an eye out for page break indicators that appear when you go beyond your selected page length. Page breaks indicate where a new page will begin if you were to view the document as a PDF.
You can add blocks above/below other blocks or position blocks side-by-side. As you add blocks, the page will automatically adjust to accommodate the new blocks. To position a block next to another one, click and hold and move your mouse over the neighboring content block until you see blue lines appear around the block.
To adjust the size of the “column,” hover between the content blocks until a green marker appears and then slide that to move the blocks side-to-side.
“Invisible tables” can also be used to format multiple columns of text and/or images. Using the table block, position text and images in your desired layout. Drag columns to adjust their width and use spacing to adjust vertical alignment. Once that’s set, you can remove the table headers as well as vertical and horizontal borders.
For landscape orientation, select this option. It’s ideal for displaying large photos or slide deck-stye pages. Note: you can always convert a landscape page to a portrait page after you’ve added it (or vice-versa) in your page settings under “LAYOUT.”
You can add a new page in the beginning, middle, or end of the document. Just click the + symbol above/below your current page.
Click “merge with page above” to merge your current page with the page above it. Click “remove page” to delete your current page or “add to Content Library” to save the entire page to the Content Library.
To move an existing page, you can save it to the Content Library and then re-add it to the desired position. You can also merge pages and then reorder blocks (but it’s typically easier to use the Content Library trick since it will move all blocks on the page at once).
Customize the size, layout, and design of your pages to best fit your needs. To adjust your page settings, click on the “…” and “page settings” to open the settings menu. You can set a background image and/or color and adjust the opacity of either.
To adjust the size and orientation of the page, click on LAYOUT. Select between US Letter (default) and A4 and choose either portrait or landscape.
To incorporate existing content, use the upload function. PDF files will be uploaded as static images (you cannot edit anything; however, you can layer fields on top of uploaded files).
When uploading docx files, you’ll have the option to “convert” those files into fully editable PandaDoc pages.
Adjusting images and customizing block design
Easily resize images, add margins, and change background colors to customize the design of your document.
To adjust images, drag the corner of the image to the desired size then click “properties” to add a background color and padding/margins. Padding will help position the image within the content block and margins can be used in combination with a background color to visually stretch the block to any width/height.
Stretching a block or image background color to the full width of the page adds a visually appealing element to the design and helps define different sections of the document.
Easily edit your document theme to set custom colors, font formatting, table designs, and add headers & footers in the “Design” section. Click “Customize theme” and select the element you’d like to format.
To quickly reformat all text, click on “text” and change the font type, size, or color, and even change the capitalization to UPPER CASE, Title Case, None (default), or lower case. You can even set the formatting for your hyperlinks to match your document design seamlessly.
Preserve formatting and save time by duplicating blocks or saving them to the content library.
To quickly build out a document and ensure formatting is consistent, use the “duplicate block” function. If you created something you’ll want to use again in another document or template, just save it to the Content Library. If you want to save multiple blocks or an entire page to the content library, make sure you start with the top block then, when you’re saving subsequent blocks, select the “add to existing content library” option.
Keep field sizes consistent to look professional.
If you have a number of fields on your document and you’ve been eyeballing them for size, chances are they don’t all match. Before you spend precious time adjusting all your fields, know this: if you add a field and adjust the size, the next time you add a field it will match the one you just created. You can also use the “duplicate” function for fields to ensure an exact match.
Before hitting “send,” think about all the ways your document might be viewed.
Remember those handy page break indicators? You can also use the print preview function to preview what the PDF version will look like. In the top-right, click “…” and “Print” to open up the PDF preview (don’t worry, it won’t print automatically).
Add an interactive Table of Contents for easy reading
Any heading you use throughout the document can be added to the Table of Contents. Simply drag & drop the TOC block into your document and customize which headings are shown.
Recipients will be able to click on the heading text and it will automatically scroll to that section of the document. The TOC will also be displayed in the right-hand menu for recipients to navigate easily while reading the document.
That’s it for now! We hope these tips help you unleash your design powers to create custom professional-grade documents as efficiently as possible.