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PauletteP2
Currently Being Moderated

Planning Ahead for Using Boilerplates

Apr 9, 2012 2:09 PM

Tags: #proposals #boilerplate

Hi all,

I work as an RFP Response writer, creating proposals for companies seeking our products. What happens is that we get a Request for Proposal (RFP), which usually has requirements including questions to answer. There are also pages I use in nearly every proposal, including product description pages, executive profiles and a cover page. These mostly stay the same but need to be customized for each customer. What I'm thinking is that I will create Masters for each page I might use (one for each product they might want, company description, cover page). Then when I get a new RFP, I'll copy the main file, delete the masters I'm not going to need and tweak the masters I will need.

 

I'm noticing my file is getting quite large though and I'm wondering if this is the best way. I want to be a smart designer, but I have no experience so I could use all the advice I can get.

 

THANKS!!!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 3:11 AM   in reply to PauletteP2

    Pehaps a folder (or folders) of snippets (and a snippet can be an entire page of objects) would be easier to manage. You could just drag the the ones you need out of Bridge or Mini-Bridge onto your pages, then edit as necessary.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 3:35 AM   in reply to PauletteP2

    You can also try "Template" , prepare the template and then use it depending on your RFP , esay to maintain and customizable as well.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 5:34 AM   in reply to PauletteP2

    What I'm thinking is that I will create Masters for each page I might use (one for each product they might want, company description, cover page). Then when I get a new RFP, I'll copy the main file, delete the masters I'm not going to need and tweak the masters I will need.

     

    I'm noticing my file is getting quite large though and I'm wondering if this is the best way.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with this approach. Test and see if opening a copy of your template and Save As -ing drops the file size back down. It should, unless there's something weird.

     

    Which approach to use depends a lot on how you like to work, and all sorts of incidentals about your workflow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 8:16 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    John Hawkinson wrote:

     

    What I'm thinking is that I will create Masters for each page I might use (one for each product they might want, company description, cover page). Then when I get a new RFP, I'll copy the main file, delete the masters I'm not going to need and tweak the masters I will need.

     

    I'm noticing my file is getting quite large though and I'm wondering if this is the best way.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with this approach. Test and see if opening a copy of your template and Save As -ing drops the file size back down. It should, unless there's something weird.

     

    Which approach to use depends a lot on how you like to work, and all sorts of incidentals about your workflow.

    The size may be due to your file containing embedded graphics (graphics that aren't linked to their sources on a drive, outside the file.) \\

     

    * Consider linking graphics to reduce the file size.

     

    * You may want to consider using conditional text to show and hide content.

     

    * You may also want to consider using cross-references from the document you're building for a new RFP, to stored boilerplate paragraphs in one or more separate documents. Cross-references only bring in text, not graphics or tables, so this might not suit for all uses. Also, some folks report problems with the reliability of cross-file cross-references. One workaround is to convert the cross-references to text before finaliing the document.

     

    * You may also want to consider using Data Merge with a Data Source file that contains references to boilerplate stored in text and graphics files that are saved on disk. You can edit a generated merged document like any other InDesign document, so you can add personalized content manually.

     

    Search Google for terms like "InDesign cross-reference tutorial," "InDesign data merge tutorial," "InDesign linking graphic files tutorial," without quotes for details on these topics.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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