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Customize your purchase order form

Watch a 3-minute tutorial about customizing forms

You can change the names and layout of the fields of a purchase order to fit the needs of your company.

To do this task

  1. Make sure your preference for using purchase orders is turned on. (This preference also turns on inventory.)

    To do this task

    Only the QuickBooks Administrator can do this task.

    1. Open the items and inventory preferences.

      To do this task

      1. Go to the Edit menu and click Preferences.

      2. In the list at the left of the Preferences window, click Items & Inventory.

      3. In the list at the left of the Preferences window, click Items & Stock.

      4. Click the Company Preferences tab.

    2. Select the Inventory and purchase orders are active checkbox.

    3. If you want to avoid entering duplicate purchase order numbers, select the Warn about duplicate purchase order numbers checkbox.

    4. Click OK.

  2. Go to the Vendors menu and click Create Purchase Orders.


    The form you see onscreen is not how your purchase order looks when printed. Click Print Preview at the top right-side of the form to see how it will print and then click Close.

  3. Select the template you want to use:

    1. Click the Customize drop-down arrow and then click Manage Templates.

      Note: You may need to resize or maximize the window to see the Customize drop-down arrow.

    2. In the Manage Templates window, click each template in the list to see how the form will print. The template appears in the Preview section of the window.

    3. If you don't see one you want, click Download Templates to download more for free from the QuickBooks Template Gallery. Click Open (not Save) when you download a form from the template gallery to ensure that it appears in your templates list.

      Note: Templates that begin their names with "Intuit" are usually for preprinted forms—you can make only limited changes to these types of forms.

  4. Once you select a template, click OK to begin making changes to it, or copy it first to create a new template:

    1. Click the Copy button in the Manage Templates window.

      The template appears in the Select Template list with the words "Copy of:" in front of the name.

    2. In the Template Name field on the right side of the window, rename the template.

    3. Click OK to save the template with the new name. The Basic Customization window opens.

    Note: If a "Locked Template" message appears, either click Cancel to select another template, or click Make a Copy. Be sure to rename the copy.

  5. Customize your template.

    From the Basic Customization window you can:

    From the Additional Customization window you can:

    From the Layout Designer you can:

  6. Preview the form: The final step in customizing your form is seeing how the form looks onscreen and in print preview.

    Look at the form onscreen and then do a print preview to see how it looks when it's printed. Since what prints on the form can be (and probably is) different from what you see onscreen when you fill out the form, consider both uses.

    To do this task

    1. Open the form onscreen to see how the template affects what you see in the form window.

      Things to think about
      • Does it have all or most of the fields you need when you fill out the form onscreen?

      • Does it have enough room for you to enter your line item descriptions?

      • If you want to print shipping labels, does it have a Ship To box?

    2. Click the Print Preview button at the top right side of the form to see how the printed form will look. (What you see onscreen is probably different from what you see when the form is printed.)

      Templates list in form window

      Things to think about
      • Does it show enough (or not too much) detail for your customers or vendors?

      • Does it have a special section, like a tear-off (remittance) section or a signature line?

      • Does it have all the information your customers or vendors need when they receive the form?

      • Will you be printing the form on an Intuit preprinted form? If so, make sure there are no lines or borders around any of the fields.

When you open a form, such as an purchase order, it uses the template that was last used. If you need to reselect this customized template, click the drop-down arrow at the top right side of the form and select it from the list.

Templates list in form window

See also

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