One of the many benefits of a Cloud application is the ability to utilize the latest available technologies and integrate them in new and exciting ways. As Proposals move beyond the printed page there are a number of ways to give clients a better understanding of what's possible, and actually enable them to experience what may be in store for them when they engage you as a partner.

When creating your proposals in D-Tools Cloud you have the ability to add multimedia elements such as images and video. You can also link to other media assets such as hosted pdfs and presentations.

You can also add 360 degree images, which give your clients the ability to take a virtual tour of some of your best work. Getting started with 360 degree imagery is easy and really only requires a 360 degree camera, (we like the Samsung Gear 360), and a hosting service to host the resulting photos. 

We are working with a company called Momento360, and they offer a service to host and share your 360 degree photos. They have a free tier with a 2 GB storage limit and hosting plans start at $4.99 per month.

Adding a 360 degree image to your Proposal is easy and really helps drive interactivity. You can add a 360 degree photo to your proposal template in the same way that you add other image assets, there are just a couple of extra steps.

First, you will need to upload your photo to Momento360. From there you click on their Share icon and this will give you the option to share or embed a link:

Once you have your link, you can copy it into a browser to view your 360 degree photo. You need to save this link as this is the link that you will use when you add the 360 image to the proposal.

There is one more thing you will need to do before adding this to your proposal template - you will need to create a thumbnail image of the 360 degree photo to upload to your proposal template in D-Tools Cloud. 

You can upload any image and add a link, so if you don't want to use an exact thumbnail you can just add the link to any image. However if you want to use a thumbnail of the actual 360 degree image, here is a simple web hack:

  1. Paste your 360 degree URL in a browser to view your 360 degree photo.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the image and select "inspect" or "inspect element" (depending on your browser). This brings up the page source inspector.

3. From the resulting view, a window should appear with the html code. Look for the <head> tag and expand it so you can see the code. In Chrome it will appear on the right side of the browser window, in Firefox it will appear at the bottom of the browser window.

4. Scroll down the code until you locate <meta property="og:image" and copy the URL to the right after the word content=. In this example the URL is https://cdn.filestackcontent.com/vfhwvhkATHi5me4kItbA. Note: You will have to copy/paste the entire element and then copy out just the URL.

5. Paste the URL into a browser and hit enter. The result will be an image that you will then right click to save to your desktop. Save it with a name that you will remember as this is the image you are going to add to your Proposal. 

In D-Tools Cloud, navigate to your quote and select Edit Proposal.

From the edit window, select "Add section" and click on "Image/Gallery". This will give you the option to ad an image or video, then choose a layout. Select "Add image or video". This will bring up the dialog to add your image. Navigate to your desktop, select your thumbnail image and upload it to your Proposal.  In the Overlay text box, type in instructions so your clients will know to click on the image. 

In the link box, paste in your 360 URL that you created earlier, then click on the "Add" button.

From the next screen, give your image a title and select "Apply".  Your 360 image has now been added to your Proposal. To preview, select "View Proposal".

That's it! You've just added an engaging, interactive element to your Proposal, which should excite your clients and improve your close rates.

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