What would you like to know more about?

Send Custom Reports

Make sure you've set up your email server. On the File menu, click Setup > Email & Text Setup.

There are several ways to send documents to recipients, depending on your needs. If none of the predefined reports fit your needs, you can create and email a custom document. You only need to do this if you want to use information fields from the program in your document.

One example might be an "update letter" where you want to confirm the contact information you have in PDS. Use the custom report editor to create a document with all the necessary information and blanks for recipients to fill in. Before sending, you can see a preview with your recipients' information.

example showing Editor Window and Preview of a custom form


Before adding a report, we recommend outlining what you want in your document and make notes about formatting. This gives you something to work from.

You may want to include instructions on the document so your recipients know what they need to do with it.

  1. In the Reports window, click Add, then click Letter.
  2. Enter a meaningful name and description. If needed, select the level of access others can have to this report. Select where to save the report, then click Build.
  3. In the Editing window, you can define the content of your document.
    1. Click Insert on the menu bar to add elements to your document. Use the buttons on the toolbar to quickly insert a field, list, or other element.

      Click Insert Field to add some piece of information that you have entered in PDS for each family or individual that you're sending this to. For example, if you want to include each member's name in the document, you can insert the First Name field under the Mem - Name Formats section. This displays as "<Mem First Name>" in the editor window.

      Click Insert Image to add your logo or other image inside the email body.

    2. Click Format on the menu bar to use tools to make your email visually appealing. Use the buttons on the toolbar to quickly create a bulleted list, numbered list, or increase/decrease the indent.
    3. Click Table on the menu bar to add columns and rows. This is useful for creating boxes that your recipients can fill in.
  4. When you're finished, click OK to save your changes. Click Next to proceed through the Reports wizard.
  5. When selecting the families or individuals to include, on the Selection Information tab, select Email the Letter If.
    1. To send to only those whose email address is marked as Pref., select Preferred is Checked.
    2. To send to those who have an email address entered in their record, select Has an Email Addr.
    3. To send the document to all email addresses listed on the record, select Send to Multiple Emails.
  6. Click Preview. If any records are missing email addresses, the document will be printed instead. Click OK. If needed, click Next in the preview window.
  7. Complete the information on the Email Message tab.
    1. In the From field, enter the name you want the recipient to see when they receive the email, such as "St. Mary's Church" or "Father Lawrence".
    2. Enter the From Email Address that displays as where the email is being sent from. This is usually your email address.
    3. If you want recipient replies to be directed to a different address, enter a Reply Email Address. For example, you may want completed forms to be returned to your office administrator. Otherwise, you can enter the same email as the From Email Address.
    4. Edit the subject line, if needed.
    5. To include additional attachments, click Add File, at the bottom, select the attachment you want to send, and click Open.
  8. Select the type of email you want to send based on your needs. For more on these options, see Email Letters and Statements.
    Tip: If the document you're sending is the actual form that needs to be filled out, we recommend selecting Email as PDF document attachment. That way, recipients can use the Fill & Sign feature in Adobe Acrobat Reader to digitally fill out the form and return it to you. Or, they can easily print it, fill it out, and scan a copy to return to you.
  9. Enter a message to briefly explain the reason for this email. Don't forget to mention any attachments and instruct the recipient on how to return the completed copy back to you.
  10. When you're ready, click Start Email.