In this tutorial of our free QuickBooks Online training course, we’re going to cover how to customize the look and feel of your invoices. The custom format you design for your invoice can also be applied to your sales receipts and estimates, giving your company a consistent and professional look.
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This tutorial is one of our Free QuickBooks Tutorials. To complete this tutorial, you can watch the video below or read through the step-by-step instructions. The video was made with a slightly older version of QuickBooks Online, so a few of the menus might be slightly different, but the overall process of customizing your invoices is mostly the same. The step-by-step instructions are prepared with the most current version of QuickBooks Online.
The Importance of Customizing Sales Forms
I highly recommend customizing your invoices, receipts, and estimates to make your business look professional and unique. The default QuickBooks forms are not very professional looking and are used by many businesses. You can build brand awareness and enhance your name recognition with a well-designed logo on a unique invoice.
Gather Your Info: Checklist to Customize Invoices
This tutorial customizes the look and feel of your invoice, so you’ll want to consider a few things before you begin. While it might seem like a small thing, having a consistent logo, colors, and even font across all of your marketing and sales materials can help build brand awareness. If you haven’t already done so in the prior tutorial, save a digital copy of your logo to your computer. Additionally, choose your company colors and company font.
How to Customize an Invoice in QuickBooks Online
You can customize the look and feel of your QuickBooks Online invoice by following these five steps:
- Navigate to the Sales tab under Account and settings by clicking on the gear icon, selecting Account and settings in the first column, and then clicking on Sales.
- Create a new invoice template by clicking on the green Customize look and feel button, click the drop-down arrow next to New Style, and select Invoice.
- Customize your new Invoice template by choosing the layout, logo, colors, and font.
1. Navigate to the Sales Tab in Account and Settings
Customize the design of your invoices in the sales tab of your company settings. Locate the sales tab by clicking on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the QuickBooks Online screen and selecting Account and settings in the first column:
From the Accounts and settings screen, click on Sales in the left menu bar:
There are nine areas to customize the options and defaults on your sales forms, which consist of invoices, receipts, and estimates. Later tutorials will walk you through all nine areas, but this tutorial focuses only on the look and feel of your invoices. Click on the green Customize look and feel button in the upper right corner of the sales tab.
2. Design a Custom Invoice in QuickBooks Online
If this is a new company, the only form style available is the default template named “Standard.” If you want to make only a slight adjustment, you can edit the default template by clicking Edit on the far right side of the line. However, for this tutorial, let’s design an invoice from scratch.
Click the drop-down arrow next to the New style button in the upper right corner and then select Invoice:
The next screen provides a preview of your invoice on the right. There are three tabs in the upper left corner: Design, Content, and Emails. This tutorial will work through the Design tab while the Content tab is included in How to Set Up Sales Form Content in QuickBooks Online, and the Email tab is in How to Set Up Messages in QuickBooks Online:
The design tab deals purely with the aesthetics of your invoice. There are five areas to design your invoice. As you make new selections, the preview of your invoice on the right half of the screen will update.
Preview your invoice: The spacing between elements in the invoice preview on the right side of the screen is affected by the dimensions of your screen. To see how your invoice will look, click on Preview PDF in the bottom right corner of the screen.
A. Change Up the Template
After you click on Change up the template under the design tab, you can choose from six different templates:
Click on each template to see a preview. Select the template you think best suits your business’s image.
B. Add Your Unique Logo
You can add a picture or logo that will make your invoice one of a kind. Your logo must be saved as an image file on your computer. Follow these steps to import your logo in QuickBooks Online:
1.Click Add your unique logo and then click the green plus sign under Add a logo. Notice that after clicking on Add your unique logo for the first time, the description of the button changes to Make logo edits:
2. The next screen will display all the logos you have previously uploaded to QuickBooks Online. If your logo is already there, select it to add to your invoice template. If this is a new company, or the logo you want isn’t shown, click the blue plus sign:
3. QuickBooks provides a window to browse your computer and select the image file of your logo. After selecting the image file, click Open to return to the prior screen where a thumbnail of your new logo appears.
The logo is now stored in your QuickBooks Online account and will be available for the customization of other forms without having to reload it. Make sure the logo you want to add to your invoice is highlighted and then click Save.
4. Your logo now appears under the Design tab with options to change the size and place the logo on the left, center, or right of your invoice:
Unfortunately, the logo can only be placed at the top of the invoice. Play around with the options until you settle on how to display the logo. If you decide you don’t want the logo in your invoice, click on Hide logo.
C. Try Other Colors
The next option under the Design tab is to select the color of your template. After clicking Try other colors, you can choose from between 16 colors:
The color selection will affect both the text color and highlight color of the invoice headings. You might want to revisit your template selection as some templates are more colorful than others. For maximum color, try the “bold” template, which shades the entire background of the invoice.
Custom colors: You are not limited to the 16 predefined colors. The text box located under your color selection is an HTML color code, which you can input manually for a nearly infinite selection of color choices. Because none of the predefined colors matched my plumber logo, I visited a website that provides HTML color codes and selected the color #6E96D1.
D. Get Choosy With Your Font
The next task under the Design tab is to choose your font. Click Get Choosy with your font (or Select a different font if you’ve clicked there before) to view a selection of four fonts and three sizes:
E. When in Doubt, Print It Out
The final task under the Design tab is to set your print options. Click on When in doubt, print it out (or Edit print settings if you’ve already clicked there) to view options for printing your invoice:
The Fit printed form with paystub in window envelope will print a dividing line, turning the top portion of your invoice into a payment stub, and print the message “Please detach top portion and return with your payment.” This will help you match payments received to outstanding invoices, which is especially useful if you send numerous invoices for the same amount.
The Use letterhead paper option will remove the company name, address, and logo from the top of the invoice. This allows your emailed invoices to include the business information and logo, but the business information and logo can be removed quickly when printing on company letterhead.
When you are satisfied with the custom design of your invoice, click the green Done button in the bottom right corner of the screen. QuickBooks returns you to the Custom form styles screen, where you can see your newly created invoice template with the default name assigned by QuickBooks. You can change the name of your custom invoice by clicking Edit and then Rename:
Create multiple templates: You can create multiple invoice templates to be used in different situations. For instance, you can create one template to be printed on company letterhead and another to be emailed. You can choose which template to apply before printing or emailing an invoice.
Now that you know how to create a custom template, you can also create custom templates for estimates and sales receipts.
Create Custom Estimate and Sales Receipts in QuickBooks Online
The steps to create customized estimates and sales receipt templates are identical to the process we used to create your customized invoice. From the Custom form styles screen, click New style and either Estimate or Sales receipt:
You have the same design options for estimates and sales receipts as invoices. I suggest that you make the custom format similar to your invoices but different enough that it is easy to tell each of the forms apart to avoid confusion. It’s important customers don’t mistake invoices for estimates.
Congratulations on customizing the design of your sales forms in QuickBooks Online. Consider making multiple invoice templates for different types of sales. For instance, you might want to omit the shipping address and method for service invoices. Our next tutorial is How to Set Up Sales Form Content in QuickBooks Online, where you’ll learn how to designate what content will show on your invoices, estimates, and sales receipts.