Documents are essential to Projects, containing the detailed plans and guidelines for how your project will be administered to successful outcomes.

In this article, we will explore the settings, features, and actions available for you to develop and manage documents for your projects.

Document Category and Types
When you add a new Document, you will select a document category and type

Document Categories

Document categories are used to assign automatic prefixes and sequencing to documents. Categories also inform how your documents are organized inside a zip folder when you export a solicitation. 

Categories are custom configured by your organization's Administrators. Common examples include Primary; Attachments; Exhibits. 

The most common Document Categories that are configured include:

  • Attachment

  • Exhibit

  • Root Document

When you choose Attachment or Exhibit:

  • Your document will have the category name prefixed to the title

  • Your document will automatically be numbered/lettered according to the organization’s settings.

When you choose Root Document:
  • This only impacts the organization of your files into folders/subfolder when you export

  • Your document will be exported in the main folder and not a subfolder.

If you think you might need to pick a different category, contact the Administrator for the solicitation.

Document Layout 

Once you are within a document you will see all the different sections and table of contents associated with the documents in a project.  

 NOTE: the table of contents will highlight the sections you currently are viewing in the document view.  
You will also be able to see the individual who created the document for further visibility. 

Document Types

There are two types you can choose from: SB Template or Uploaded File. Document types help you create collaborative, cloud-based documents that you can work on with your team in Document Builder, and also give you the flexibility to upload and include specific file types that you might need for your project. 

How Document Types are Exported

  • SB Templates: SB Templates mean that you and your team are inputting information into the platform directly. For example, when you export an attachment with this document type, edits/changes made with track changes on will show in the export.

    • Convert to PDF

    • Every time you perform a full export, you will get a *bonus file* that merges all your PDF documents into 1 PDF master file. *Uploaded files will not be converted or merged into the PDF master file.

  • Uploaded files:

    • Retain their original file type when exported.

    • Not converted to PDF and not inserted in the master PDF; instead, a 1-page placeholder page with and instructions about where to find the uploaded file will be inserted in your master PDF

    • If you typically distribute the master, combined, PDF file and are now including an uploaded file in your solicitation - you will need to download the master file and the uploaded file from your Export page. 

    • See screenshots below:

Administrator Guide to Creating Document Templates

Please note that the following segments through "How to archive / restore document templates" are instructions for platform Administrators. If you are seeking to work with Documents within a Project, please review from "How to add new Documents to Projects" and onward.

Document Template creation is the first step for many administrators managing projects and teams. Document Template creation is what will allow your teams to create and take ownership of new projects in service of  your organization's needs. The following will detail the process of template creation in hopes of equipping you with the necessary tools for success. Watch below for more!

While the template defines a document’s initial contents, solicitation owners will be able to freely edit, delete, rearrange or add sections for any documents created from an SB Document template, and grant other users permission to do the same (however, nothing an end user does in a solicitation will alter the original template).

Administrators: Creating New Document Templates

To create an SB document template:

  1. Select Configuration from the main menu.
  2. Navigate to the Document Templates pane and click Add New Document Template.
  3. Edit the name and choose the document category.
  4. For Document Type, Select SB Template.
  5. Indicate whether a copy should be generated for each Key Staff Role defined in the solicitation (click here for details.)
  6. Assign a Parent Document (optional, for more information on Parent Documents, click here.)
  7. Set inclusion criteria (For more on this, see Setting Inclusion Criteria for Templates and Sections.)
  8. Determine Project Settings, such as whether or not the document is complete or needs more additional work form an end user as well as assign responsibility as well as determine who is responsible for completing the document.
  9. Use the PDF settings to create a header and footer for the template.
  10. Click "Create Document Template".

Admins can reorder their document templates via the drag & drop method. While on the configuration page, simply left-click, hold, and drag the document title to the desired spot.

Administrators: Previewing Document Templates

Once you have created your Document Template, you will return to the Document Template Details screen. At the bottom of this screen, you have an options for Document Preview that allows you to review configured templates within the Configuration screen,; easily navigating through the template' sections for editing.

When you select "Preview Document Template", a preview of the Document Template displays (what it would look like if you created a Project). 

The Document Template Preview includes a left-side table of contents for easy navigation, as you would see in an actual Project. The table of contents will display the Document Template primary section and all nested sections, including the variations.

Administrators: Parent Documents

When creating document templates, the option of associating a particular document template with a Parent Document appears on the 'New Document Template Details' page.

Giving your document template a parent document template will ensure that both documents remain grouped together. Child document templates are numbered as sub-items to the parent document template. While each may be edited independently, the parent feature ensures they will always move together as a group within a solicitation.


One example use case for parent document templates would be if you had a set of documents that need to be filled out for each staff role but wanted to include a summary document describing those documents (in that case, the summary would be the parent, then the child documents would each be set to “generate a copy for each staff role,” resulting in a set of documents grouped as sub-items X.1, X.2, X.3 for the summary).

We also now have a feature that allows an Administrator to move a tree of section templates from one parent (section template) to another parent (section template) on the configuration side.

Administrators: Parent Documents

In some cases, you might want certain documents to be grouped together within a solicitation, such as a document that contains instructions and the associated form.

Selecting a parent document template in a template's settings will ensure that the current template is only included with the parent. Any document created from a template like this will be numbered as a sub-item of the parent document in the solicitation’s outline.

Administrators: Headers & Footers

You can select a header and footer for your document template from a pre-existing header and footer template, or follow instructions to create your own.

Once settings have been selected, click ‘Create Document Template’.

Administrators: How to Archive / Restore Document Templates

When a document template is no longer needed, you can easily archive it from the Document Templates panel.

Restoring archived document templates is just as easy and doable by accessing the Archived Templates page and choosing to restore the archived template.

How to Add New Documents to Projects

After opening a solicitation, navigate to the Document panel and select "Add New Document."

Then, enter the requested information, including document title and category.

  1. To add the prefix "Attachment" and a number to the title: choose category "Attachment"
  2. To add the prefix "Exhibit" and a letter to the title: choose category "Exhibit"
  3. To omit a prefix and number/letter from the title: choose category "Root Document"

Once a document is added, you must add sections and subsections (if needed). All documents must contain at least one section.

You can add sections as soon as the document has been created.

Document Settings in Projects

Owners/Editors can edit Document Settings to change the title, permissions, and other settings. Document Settings will allow you to adjust the following attributes of your Document:

  1. Document Title
  2. Document Title visibility (hide/unhide)
  3. Top Level Document designation (document title will appear in the table of contents if enabled)
  4. Table of Contents utilization (should this document populate the table of contents for your project/solicitation? If so, where?)
  5. Document Header & Footer
  6. Document Status: Not Started, In Progress, Completed
  7. Guest Contributor Permission: Yes, No

Editing Document Settings

You can edit a document’s settings from the Document panel.

Or you can navigate to document settings from an opened document.

Please note, if a document’s status is set to “Complete,” you must revert the status back to “In Progress” before editing.

You will see the following options available when you open Document Settings

Document Headers and Footers

Headers and Footers can help your reader navigate your documents. Headers and footers can contain information such as the project number, release date, name of the purchasing agency, page numbers, and anything else that might be helpful to readers.

Formatting Rules:
  1. The Header/Footer area fits 3 lines of text by default. If more than 3 lines of text are added to a header/footer, space will be allocated from the document’s body to accommodate the header text.
  2. Users can choose 1, 2, or 3 columns for headers/footers. Writing in 12pt size font, 1 column fits 82 characters per line; 2 columns fit 41 characters per line; and 3 columns fit 20 characters per line.
  3. You can choose font sizes size 6pt to size 36pt font.
  4. Header/Footer does not print on table of contents pages.
  5. After documents are exported to PDF, the variables $page_number and $total_pages are replaced with page numbers.
1. Create/Edit header/footer
  1. Open Project
  2. Go to the Header and Footer substage in the left hand menu
    1. Click Add New Header & Footer or Edit existing
    2. If New, name your Header & Footer
    3. Write and format
      1. Select how many columns you wish to use
      2. Input text or image contents into the available fields
    4. Click "Create Header & Footer " or "Save" if editing existing record
  3. Go to Documents in the left hand menu
    1. Find the 1st document you want to apply the header to, click Edit on its corresponding row to open Document Settings
    2. Select your Header & Footer Template and save
    3. Repeat for all documents in your list

2.Complete a missing question response

If you see text in your headers {{Missing Question Response}}, that means a question is awaiting your response. Go to your project's Questions, answer the corresponding question, then save. Your response will automatically apply to your document headers/footers.

See video demonstration:

Make sure to update the document when you are finished.

Reordering Documents

You can reorder documents from the Documents tab.

  1. Open your solicitation, and set the status to In Progress or Under Review

  2. Open the Documents tab

  3. Click a document's name, hold, drag to a new position, then release

The numbers in the document titles will update automatically after you reorder.

How to Export Document Drafts

All users can download PDF versions of individual Document Builder documents for review from the top of a document.

If you want to export drafts of all solicitation documents at once, go to the individual solicitation dashboard, navigate to the Action Center, and select Export Solicitation PDF.

You can also select different purposes for your export or even add notes.

If you only want to export some of the documents in your solicitation, just make your selection and export.

Once the export is complete, you will be able to download a ZIP file from the Exports panel at the bottom of the Solicitation’s page.

If you export for a purpose other than Draft, the status of your solicitation will automatically change to the purpose you exported for: Published, Addendum, or Contracting.

How to Request Access to a Document

Document sections that can be edited by Guest Contributors will be labeled with "Guest Contributor."

If you think you need to edit a document you don't have access to, you can ask Editors to make Editable.

If you are a Reviewer, you will see options to Review the section, or make comments and track changes.
If you think you need to edit a document you don't have access to, you can request permission from the project Owner.

How to Grant Access to a Document and Document section

Owners and Editors can update permissions to documents and document sections.  Navigate to the Document Panel and click ‘Edit’ for the document you want to grant access to.

In the Document Settings, under ‘Allow Guest Contributors to edit this document?’, select ‘Yes’ to grant access.

To grant access to a specific document section: click the 3 dots icon, and select ‘Section Settings’ in the pop-up menu.

In the Edit Section Settings window that appears, select ‘Yes’ under ‘Allow Guest Contributors to edit this section?' and update the section.

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