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Creating a Template

What

Conga Collaborate Templates allow you to create a starting point for your documents and easily maintain them for consistency. An administrator will build a template with pre-loaded content and dynamic behavior that can then be used by Conga Collaborate users over and over again. When users build a document from a template, they can make changes to the content within that document without affecting the template itself.

Why

Templates give Conga Collaborate administrators better control over what content is being created and sent. Setting up content, logic, and permissions on your templates allows users to create documents from those templates, streamlines document assembly, and still allows for editing flexibility by the user.

How

Step 1: Create a new Template

There are two ways to create a template:

  1. From the Dashboard, click the Create button. In the dropdown menu, select Template. Give your template a name, select its type, and click Create.

  2. From the Templates list, click Create Template.  Give your template a name, select its type, and click Create.

Depending on your Conga Collaborate subscription, you may have Proposal Template, Contract Template, or Presentation Template as template options. Proposal is the recommended document type for the majority of use cases. The Proposal document type works well for any document that does not require use of Conga Collaborate’s online redlining functionality.  For example, Order Forms, SOWs, and even MSAs can be built with the Proposal document type. Contract document type is required if you are using Conga Collaborate online redlining.

Step 2: Set the Template Properties

Open the Properties panel, open the Design tab, and choose a Theme for your template. A Theme controls the general styling of your document. If you haven’t created a theme yet, check out our Creating Conga Collaborate Themes article.

You can continue to customize other settings in the template’s Properties tab. However, the rest of the properties are optional and depend on your use case. See the full list of Template Properties later in this article to learn more.

Step 3: Add Template Content

  1. Before you start adding text, tables, or images to your template, break down your existing document into sections and pages. Those sections and pages will drive how you build the Table of Contents in your new template. For more information, see Create Pages/sections structure in the TOC.

  2. Once you’ve built the Table of Contents, copy and paste content from your Word document into the appropriate pages within the Conga Collaborate template. We have some special tools to help the copy/paste process go more smoothly. For more, see Copy and Paste from Word.

  3. Use the Conga Collaborate editor to format the content you’ve pasted in or insert images, tables, pages breaks, and more. For more information, see Using the Editor.
    As much as possible, let your selected Theme determine the styling of your content.  If you find that you are constantly changing styling within the document itself, consider making changes to your Theme instead.

Additional Content Options

Embedded PDF Pages
Conga Collaborate content is web-based, meaning you are creating an HTML page when you’re building content. However, Conga Collaborate also supports loading existing PDFs and PDF pages into your documents. This works well if you have a page that is highly styled and will not need to be edited by your users. If you’d like to add a PDF, specific PDF pages, or other files to your template, reference Embedding Files into Documents.

Referenced Content
In some cases, you may want to create a page of content that will be used in several templates. You can avoid re-creating and updating the page in each individual template by creating a master version of the page in the Conga Collaborate Content Library and then adding it to a template as referenced content. To learn more, see Referenced Content.

Locked Content
If you would like to lock template sections and/or pages from being edited and/or removed in documents created off of that template, open the section/page settings by clicking on the gear icon next to the section/page name in the Table of Contents and editing the properties for each.

Step 4: Add Dynamic Behavior

Once you've started adding content to your template, you can start adding Salesforce variables and logic to drive dynamic behavior:

  1. Open the Content panel, select Variables, and choose the dropdown containing the type of variable you want to insert. When you place your cursor into the document, a "+" will appear next the variable names.  Clicking this will insert the variable.  Alternatively, you can type "%variable_name" into the document, and you will be presented with a list of dynamically filtered variables to insert into your content. See Variables for more information.

  2. Use Insert -> Conditional Content to create sections of text or content in your documents that will only show based on specific criteria. See Conditional content for more information.

  3. Use the gear icon next to a page in your Table of Contents to open Page Properties and add page include logic, allowing the page to only show based on specific criteria. See Conditional sections/pages for more information.

  4. Use Insert -> Table to start building a table that will automatically populate with child object data from Salesforce, like contacts or products related to a launching record. See Pricing Tables for more information.

  5. If you would to update Salesforce when this document is signed or other events occur, see Outgoing Data for more information.

If you don’t see the Salesforce fields you need to build your dynamic behavior, refer to the Mapping Incoming data article. For even more detailed information on creating templates within Conga Collaborate and optional additional configurations, go to Creating Conga Collaborate Templates.

Step 5: Add Call to Action buttons:

If this document will be signed electronically or if you’d like to allow customers to submit questions, add the Ask a Question button or the Sign button in the top-right of the document. For more information on Call to Action buttons, see our Call to Action button article.

 

Default Recipient Options

Using the People panel on the template, you can pre-set recipients who need to interact with a document:

Default Signer

Where to find it: People

If your document will always be internally signed or countersigned by the same person, add that person to the template with the correct permissions and in the correct signer position (ex: your CFO John Smith will always be Signer 2 and will have the permission to sign in order to countersign the agreement after the customer). Adding a signer to your template will automatically add them to any document created from the template.

Change Request Approver
(Contract-type documents only)

Where to find it: People

If your document is going to be redlined within Conga Collaborate, consider adding a default Change Request Approver to the template.  This user will receive notifications when change requests are submitted so that they can accept or reject those changes.

 

Default Task Options

Using the Tasks panel on a template, you can pre-set tasks that need to be completed when a document is created from the template:

Add Tasks

Where to find it: Tasks

If an action or series of actions need to be completed before the document is published, you can add tasks to your template. These tasks will automatically be assigned to the set task owner when the document is created. See the Task Overview to learn more.

 

Additional Configuration Options

There are additional template properties that may be useful to administrators:

Enable Access Code

Where to find it: Properties > Privacy

If you want to require that an access code be entered by any document recipients who view your document via the Public URL, check “Enable Access Code” under the Privacy tab in the Properties panel.

Allow PDF Downloads

Where to find it: Properties > Options

While we typically recommend leaving download options unchecked to encourage recipients to view your documents online, enable this option to allow viewers to download the document as a PDF.  Your theme will control the styling of the downloaded PDF. If using PDF download, review Optimizing for PDF to configure PDF output.

Enable Coverpage
(only available on generated documents)

Where to find it: Properties > Options

If you want to automatically include Conga Collaborate's standard cover page, check “Enable Coverpage”.  This page is uneditable.

Signature Page in PDF

Where to find it: Properties > Options

If you want to automatically include a signature page at the end of your PDF document so your document recipient can print and sign the document with a pen, check “Signature Page in PDF”.  This signature page is uneditable without the use of custom CSS.

DocuSign
(requires enabled DocuSign integration)

Where to find it: Integrations > Electronic Signature

If you want to use DocuSign eSignature via your integrated DocuSign account, check this box.  Review Docusign: Integrating with Conga Collaborate for instructions on setting up your DocuSign integration.

Prevent New Pages & Sections

Where to find it: Properties > Options

If you want to prevent users from adding new sections or pages on generated documents, check “Prevent New Pages & Sections”.

Enable Print Table of Contents

Where to find it: Properties > Options

Create an auto-generated Table of Contents page in PDF download. Upon checking the box, you'll be presented with more options:  

  • Insert Before Page - choose where in the PDF the ToC page will be inserted
  • Start Page Numbering on Page - choose what page to start numbering on
  • Sidebar - build the ToC page using the online ToC sections and pages
  • Content - build the ToC page using document content headers (H1,H2, H3)

Tags

Where to find it: Properties > Details

Use tags to organize your documents so that they’re easy to find.  See Using tags to organize content for more details.

Email Template

Where to find it: Properties > Details

If your users will send this document via Conga Collaborate email, consider providing standard email language by connecting an email template.  See Using Email Templates for more information.

Set an Expiration Date

Where to find it: Properties > Details

The Expires in X Days field allows you to have a document expire a prescribed number of days after a generated document has bee published.  After the expiration date passes, the recipient will no longer be able to access the document.

Recipients will not lose access to Accepted documents

Set Template Privacy:

Where to find it: Properties > Privacy

To control who should have access to view and edit this template, set the template visibility. Refer to Making a document public or private for more details on privacy statuses.

 

Features Available by Request

Add a Custom Signature Block
(Conga Collaborate eSignature only)

Where to find it: Properties > Options

If you want to modify the acceptance message that will show for signers and control what information they are asked to submit while signing, add a Custom Signature Block to the template. See Custom Signature Block for more information.

Set a Template Language

Where to find it: Properties > Details

Set the Template Langauge to control the translation of standard Conga Collaborate document buttons (ex: the Download Document button will automatically be translated to the set language), as well as to select the currency output for currency fields in a pricing table.

Apply SFDC Variables

Where to find it: Integrations > Salesforce

If you want to “burn in” your Salesforce variables as text upon document creation, check this option. All variables will be automatically added to the document as standard, editable text.  Generally, this feature is utilized when users desire the ability to edit auto-generated pricing tables.

When using this feature, users cannot Refresh Variables.

Allow DOCX Downloads
(when HTML2Word has been enabled)

Where to find it: Properties > Options

While we typically recommend leaving download options unchecked to encourage recipients to view your documents online, check this option to allow viewers to download the document as a Microsoft Word document.  This feature requires that a configured Word .dotm file be uploaded to your theme. The .dotm file will control the default styling of the Word output file.  Review Download to Microsoft Word for more information about creating your .dotm file.

Share Template with Workgroups
(when workgroups are enabled)

Where to find it: Properties > Privacy

Share your template with the appropriate workgroups so they will have access to use the template. See Managing workgroups for more information.

Survey Forms
(requires enabled Formstack integration)

Where to find it: Properties > Formstack

Connect a Formstack Survey Form to capture information from the document creator. This Survey Form data can then be used to populate the document with form submission data. For more information on using a Survey Form with your document, see Using a Formstack form.

 

Additional Document Creation Options

Template Mapping and Auto Publishing

Where to find it: CRM Integration settings

If using an integrated CRM and you would like a template to be automatically selected based upon CRM data, consider setting up Template Mapping.  Additionally, if you want users to be presented with a ready-to-send document, turn on Auto-Publish in order to remove the step of manually publishing the document.

Content Library

Where to find it: Content

If your document creators will need access to additional images, files, text snippets, or pages in order to build their complete document, consider building out your Conga Collaborate Content library so users can easily find the right content at the right time. Create standalone content to be used with this template as needed. For more details, read Adding Content to the Content Library.

 

Additional Document Recipient Experience Options

Page-by-Page Acceptance
(only compatible with Conga Collaborate eSignature)

Where to find it: Section and page properties

Rather than requiring an entire document be accepted, recipients can select specific pages or sections of the document to be accepted with their eSignature. For example, present two order form options and let the recipient choose which one to accept. Only pages that are selected will appear in the Signed PDF. Review this article for more information about page-by-page acceptance.

Collect recipient information using forms
(requires enabled Formstack integration)

Where to find it: Integrations > Formstack

Present forms for recipients to complete before or after signature. For example, collect details about a project team before an SOW is signed, or collect billing information immediately after eSignature. For more information on collecting recipient information in a document, see Using a Formstack form.

 

Advanced CRM Integration Options

Quote Pages
(Salesforce only)

Where to find it: Salesforce integration settings

If you are utilizing standard Salesforce Quotes and want to dynamically create a page to highlight each Quote on an Opportunity, configure the template to auto-build Quote Pages. See Configuring Quote Pages for more details.

Product Pages
(Salesforce only)

Where to find it: Salesforce integration settings

Use Product Pages to create a page for each child record on your launching object.  This feature is very similar to Quote Pages but works with any object and child object instead of just Quotes. Refer to Configuring Product Pages for more details.

Outgoing Data

Where to find it: CRM integration settings

Configure Outgoing Data rules in your Conga Collaborate CRM Integration Settings page to trigger field updates in your CRM based upon events in Conga Collaborate. For example, configure an Outgoing Data rule to automatically update your Opportunity Stage to Closed Won when the document is accepted. See Outgoing Data Tool for more information on configuring Outgoing Data rules.