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10 Things to Know About Migrating from Word / PDF Documents to Professional Proposal Software

Who else is still using Microsoft Word to write business proposals? Let me see your hands. 

It’s all right. I’m not blaming you. We’re not here to judge. 

After all, this text-processing app is a household name, and many sales professionals use it simply because it’s so available. 

The thing is that sending a Word or PDF business proposal is among the worst thing you can do. The only worst thing I can think of is typing a proposal in the email body and hitting send.

Hey, but not all of us are devs and graphic designers. 

Luckily nowadays every business can afford a user-friendly digital proposal tool that makes every proposal you send look like it was created by a web designer.   

Here’s why you should switch from Word or PDF documents to the best proposal software on the market.

Use beautifully designed ready-made templates

Probably the biggest reason why people switch from Word to dedicated proposal software is the beautifully designed proposal templates you can use off the shelf.

We have more than 79 free pre-designed and pre-written templates you can choose from.

Better Proposals templates are written by sales experts who know what works and what doesn’t. 

Using real-world results and analytics, we have perfected proposal templates for a range of industries.  

To choose a template for your account, click on your profile photo in the top right corner and navigate to Better Proposals Template Marketplace.

Once you’ve found a perfect template, click the Get this! button and add it to your account. 

Now you’re ready to use it or edit it with your own images or copy.

But first, you need to create your account and add your branding.  

Set up your account and branding

When you log in to Better Proposals, you’ll see a blank dashboard. It might seem discouraging – you must be thinking, “Great, now I have to create the whole thing from scratch”. 

But the good news is that you can get 70% of the job done by setting up the basics of your account. 

Once you fill in your account details you can start looking for the proposal template you need and be on your way.

For starters, select Settings from the sidebar and navigate to Branding. There should be your company name. 

Click on the company name and add your brand colors, pick the language, and how you want your brand to be displayed to your clients.

Logo and navigation bar

Now you want to set up your logo. Go to the Sidebar and click the Browse for Logo button to add your company logo. You should use a transparent PNG with a minimum width of 400px. 

You’ll see a preview of what the logo will look like on your proposals. While at it, you can also choose the navigation bar color from the same screen. 

The navigation bar is white with black text by default but you can choose any color you want and even invert the text–background color combo.

Email settings

The next thing you want to set up is the Email settings, more precisely what happens when your proposals are sent and signed. Upload a logo that is suitable for a white background and fill in the default subject line and body for emails when you send out proposals.

We’ve provided the default email text that your clients will see when they sign. However, you can customize this as well. 


You only need to set up Fonts once and they’ll apply to all your proposals. You can choose one of the pairings from the drop-down menu or customize the presets to make your combination. Here’s how to change fonts in Better Proposals.


Now hit the Finances tab and set up your currency and taxes. You only need to pick the options in two drop-down menus and the settings apply to all proposals you create.

Thank you & Payments

Under these tabs, you can set up what your customers will see on the "thanks" page once they’ve signed your proposals.

You can also customize what your clients will see on the payment page once they've signed your proposal. You can have a different message appearing before and after the payment.

Custom domain

If you asked me what’s the single biggest perk of digital proposals vs Word, I’d say it’s customization

Since our proposals are web pages, the good news is that on our Premium and Enterprise plan you can completely remove our domain from your proposals. 

This will make your proposals look even more professional – as if they’re being sent from your domain.   

To set this up, go to Settings, pick the brand you’re setting up the custom domain for and navigate to the Custom domain tab. The next steps will depend on the platform you’re using for your websites. 

PDF options

Your clients might still want the option to download your proposal as a PDF. To make this possible, navigate to the PDF section to set up what the PDFs will look like when downloaded.

On the other hand, if you don’t want your clients to be able to download a PDF version of your proposal simply turn the option off.

Organize your content

Now when your account settings are complete, you’re ready to import content from your Word document. 

First, you need to organize your content into sections and blocks. Sections are the subheadings on the left of your proposals in the Better Proposals. The blocks are the organic section breaks. 

Keep the sections simple. For example, Introduction, Specification, and Pricing. As blocks are concerned, you can split them naturally into visually appealing paragraphs.

Create a new template

At Better Proposals, we have more than 79 proposal templates you can use. 

But if you have a great idea, jaw-dropping images, and write engaging copy, you can create your own template. 

Click on Templates in the menu and hit the Create New Template button on the top right of the screen. 

Now you can name your template. When you’ve done that, click Next and you’ll be redirected to the Editor.

You’re starting with a blank template, and this is where you add the number of sections. For this, you have the plus sign on the left, and right under your brand logo. As you’re adding the required number of sections you can rename them by clicking on the Settings icon. 

When you’re done with the section, you can add the blocks to each section. Pick the section you want to edit in the menu you’ve just created on the left, and add the number of content blocks you want. For that, you have the plus sign in the middle of the editor.

Paste in your content

The Editor will clear most of your Word formatting, which makes copying and pasting content much easier. Once you’ve pasted all the content in, you can reset your header text and formatting.

It only takes a few seconds. Just highlight the word or phrase you want to format and select H1, H2, or H3 for different sizes.

Explore the design options

However versatile you think Microsoft Word is, there’s little you can do in the branding department but paste your logo in the header. 

Creating anything more than a basic Word document is pretty difficult for an average user. 

You can download a Word template, but be my guest and try to edit a template full of pictures and tables. 

Move one margin and you mess up the whole document.

With Better Proposals, you can go to great lengths in customizing your proposal to look on-brand. 

And the whole process takes several clicks.

Clicks on Settings on each block and you’ll see a sidebar with a range of different options. From there you can add background images, filters, videos, patterns, trims, and more. 

When it comes to coloring, the best tip I can give you is to choose a theme (light or dark) and alternate the colors from top to bottom in each section. Use your brand colors to make certain parts stand out, such as a call to action, an important point, or a section header. 

Pro tip: Pick the light or dark theme, skip to the next section, and add your images. Once you do that, go back and add your brand colors. In some cases, images alone will be enough to bring your proposal to life. This way you can use your brand colors more sparingly to avoid overwhelming visual impact.

One format fits all

When creating proposals in Word, you have two choices: save as A4 or export as PDF. if you’re looking at a finished proposal on your PC or Mac, such a proposal probably looks fine. 

The problem is that your client will probably open it on a mobile device. According to our latest research, 46% of all proposals are opened on mobile first. 

And when a client opens your Word proposal on their phone, they get a stretched-out document they can’t properly read without constant rotating, scrolling, swiping, and pinching in and out to capture all the details. 

In other words, they’ll spend more time finding the best way to read the format than understanding your offer.

But, if you use Better Proposals, your proposals are optimized for different devices. . No more incompatible and unreadable word files. We’ve recently tested Better Proposals against top competitors

The result: Better Proposals is the best proposal software you can get. Among other things, it has the best mobile optimization. Since our proposals are web pages, you can have infinite content with text, images, and actionable elements perfectly delivered every time on every device. 

Integrate your favorite apps

Another big perk of digital proposals that Word documents can only dream of are the app integration. With Better Proposals, you have over 40 integrations to choose from. These range from payment services, CRM, project management, and live chat to Zapier.

App integrations? There must be some coding involved. 

Nope. The process is so easy that we challenge our competitors to think of an easier way.

Just hover over your profile picture and select Integrations. There you can browse by category, click on the integration you need, and in a few minutes, you’ll be all set.

Collect signatures and payments

Wet signatures are a nuisance for every party involved, especially if you need multiple people to sign off on a project. 

  • With Word proposals, you have to print them out, sign them, then scan, and email them, so that the next person can do the same. 
  • With Better Proposals, you can let your clients sign digitally by either typing in or drawing their signatures.

But we didn’t want to stop there.

When they sign, your clients can pay using Stripe, PayPal, or GoCardless, which means they get to do everything from the same platform. 

Get real-time updates

When you send a Word proposal in an email, you have no way of telling if the client has even opened it and when you can expect a reply. 

However, when you send your offer through Better Proposals, you’ll know exactly what is happening and when. Our document tracking feature lets you know when your client receives, opens, reads, prints, forwards, and signs your document. 

And if you combine this knowledge with Better Proposals live chat, you can contact your clients at the best possible time – when they’re reading your proposal. 

This way you can talk over any possible doubts and uncertainties – and get the deal to a close the very same day.

Wrapping up

If you want to impress your clients and show them that you take your offer seriously, stop sending MS Word documents as business proposals.

They're slow, ineffective, poorly optimized for mobile, and impractical for the fast-moving commerce of today. 

Better Proposals gives you a whole new proposal delivery system. 

Start a trial and you’ll never want to write another .doc proposal again.

The downside to Better Proposals?

Once you start using it, you can't go back. Try it free for 14 days and see for yourself.

Adam Hempenstall's profile image
Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals. He started his first web design business at 14 and has since written four books and built an international movement around sending better proposals. Having helped his customers win $500,000,000 in the last 12 months alone, he’s launched the first ever Proposal University where he shares best practices on writing and designing proposals. He co-runs a once-a-year festival called UltraMeet and is a massive FC Barcelona fan.