I received the following today (and they didn't even call me "dear"). Before you do anything, talk to your grants office. Remember, you do not submit proposals, your University does. You are not awarded the grant. Your University is. Do not go down a pathway that you discover, on Feb 1 for Feb 5 submission is not what your University permits.
NIH grant applicants: Grants.gov downloadable forms submission option retiring Dec. 31
NIH Grant Applicant,
On December 31, 2017 Grants.gov will no longer allow grant applicants to download an entire application form package as a single PDF for offline data entry and later submission.
Since you were involved in a grant application submitted using downloadable forms in 2017, we wanted to provide a final reminder to switch to one of the following submission options for 2018 submissions:
1. NIH’s ASSIST (learn more)
2. Institutional system-to-system solution (if your institution has one)
Our submission options page can help you compare features and considerations for each option. Ultimately your office of sponsored research or other group responsible for grant application submissions will decide which option is the best fit for you and your organization.
If there is no business reason to choose one option over another, give NIH’s ASSIST a try. It’s a user-friendly, online solution optimized for NIH applications.
Although Grants.gov will stop presenting their legacy downloadable forms package as an option at the end of this year, Grants.gov and NIH systems will continue to process previously downloaded application packages through March 2018. If you plan to submit a downloadeded application package after December 31, 2017, you might want to consider downloading an extra copy of the forms package for the opportunity before Dec 31 just in case you run into a technical difficulty with the original.