Regardless of your proposal's aim, one with a sharp yet professional design will have an edge over one that is more mundane. However, taking the time to work with formatting, fonts and text sizes takes time and attention away from what you really need to be working on: the content of your proposal. You can improve your efficiency in this area by taking the time to design a proposal once, then saving it as a template for future use.
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Go to the OpenOffice website (see Resources) and download the OpenOffice program. This is an office suite that is free to use.
Open the file you downloaded, and follow the onscreen directions to install the software. Launch the OpenOffice software from the "Start" menu, and select "Text Document" option.
Prepare your cover page. Whether you choose a minimalist design, little more than your identifying information and proposal title or a more graphic backdrop is a matter of personal taste. Copy and paste any graphics you will be using, and write out your name, organisation and a placeholder for your proposal title where you wish them to appear.
Format the text on your title page with the appropriate font, text size and styling for each line.
Prepare the format for proposal's abstract, or summary, on the next page. This will be the condensed version of your longer proposal. If you plan to include running graphical motifs in your page designs, add those now. Create the layout and formatting for the summary title and the summary itself.
Set the fonts, formatting and styling you will want to use for the main body of your proposals on the third page. This way, when you open your template to write your proposal, your fonts and size will be preprepared.
Click on the "File" menu, then click on "Save As." Write in the title of your proposal template, navigate to the folder in which you want to store the template, and select "Text Document Template" as the file type. Click save.
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