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11.0A Release

If you're part of the Preferred Client Program, you can download the latest desktop version in the Client Portal.

We recommend upgrading to PDS Formation Office 11.0A, released for desktop 11-17-22 and OnDemand 11-18-22, which offers the following enhancements.

New Features

Track Student Progress
  • You can now track a student's progress for each class/session. First, set up progress definitions for the reporting periods, the marks/grades, and the categories/subjects you want to record. On the File menu, click Setup > Student Progress Definitions.

    Gif showing the Student Progress Definitions window with tabs for Periods, Marks, and Categories

  • Once you've defined these, you'll see the new section for Student Progress in the Detail window.

    Student record showing the Detail window with the new Student Progress section at the bottom-right

  • You can post student progress information for a group of individuals or a certain class/session.

  • We also modified the End of Year process. If you select to add the year/period information to permanent records, the new fields for periods, marks, and categories are recorded.

  • There's also a new report called the Student Progress Report Card. For details, see "Reports for Student Grades" under New Reports and Fields below.

Set Exception Days for All Classes
  • You can define the dates that a group of classes/sessions will not meet. For example, you can set holidays as exceptions for all classes at the same time. On the Information tab, click Students > Processes then, on the Formation Processes tab, click Set Exception Dates for All Classes/Sessions. For steps, see Set Class Exception Dates.

  • The dates you set here display in the selected class/session date lists with the Class will Meet checkbox cleared.

    The Set Exception Dates process showing holidays when the class will not meet, and a class record showing those same holidays listed as dates the class does not meet

Family Remarks Quick Posting
  • You can post general and confidential remarks to multiple family records. On the Information tab, click Families > Quick Posting > Family Remarks. For steps, see Post Family Remarks.

Personnel Mailing and Alternate Addresses
  • We added other address sections to the Primary Information window. Now, you can send letters to personnel using their street, mailing, or alternate address.

    Personnel record showing the new tabs for Street Address, Mailing Address, and Alternate Address

Post User-Defined Keywords to Personnel
  • You can post user-defined keywords to the Primary Information window on personnel records. If the personnel is linked to a member, the keyword is shared on that record as well. These are the keywords managed under File > Keywords > Member/Personnel Keywords > User Keywords. For steps, see Post User-Defined Keywords.

Personnel Workshops/Courses
  • You can track information about the workshops and courses that personnel participate in. This might include any training and events that don't fit under education/credentials, achievements, attendance/history, certification, or safe environment. Go to the personnel's record, then click Workshops/Courses in the navigation menu.

    The new Workshops/Courses window in the personnel section

  • Workshop/Course names can be set up under File > Keywords > Personnel Keywords.

Contacts in the Death Register
  • If you use Sacramental Registers, you can add contacts for individuals who have passed away.

    Sacramental Register showing the field view with the new Contacts tab at the bottom

Email Address for Sacrament and Memorial Contacts
  • You can enter email addresses for sponsors/witnesses on sacrament records and for next of kin in memorials.

Remove Duplicate Celebrants
  • You can remove duplicates from the Celebrant Names keyword list. Click Delete Duplicates to display any matching names, then select the ones you want to remove.

    Celebrant Names dialog box showing matching duplicate entries marked to be removed and the new Remove Selected button

Export and Import Fund Setup
  • You can export fund setup information from one program and import it into another. When you export, a suggested file name using the fund number displays, saved by default in your \Data folder.

Favorite Reports
  • Now there's an easy way to find all of your favorite reports... with the Favorite Reports feature! Right-click a report in the list, and click Add to Favorite Reports. This adds an asterisk (*) beside the report so it stands out in the list.

  • To quickly view all of your favorites, click Show Only * Favorite Reports at the top.

    The Reports list showing the option for "Show Only Favorite Reports" selected and only the favorite reports displayed in the list

Plus Sign for Calculator
  • In any calculation field, you can click the plus sign (+) on your keyboard to quickly display the calculator. View more keyboard shortcuts.

    An example amount field with the Calculator displayed after clicking the plus sign on the keyboard

Improved Features

Replace Service/Retreat Information
  • We updated the Hours of Service/Retreats quick posting. Now you can change the name of an existing service/retreat using the Replace option. You can also select what has to match in order for a replacement or addition to take place. For details, see Post Service or Retreat Hours.

    The Service/Retreat quick posting showing options for "Service/Retreat Matches" and "Date Matches", as well as options to "Replace all existing information and hours", "Add to the existing line and add hours to the existing hours", or "Insert a new line"

Quick Emails and Text Messages
  • Create emails and text messages more easily using the new navigation item. In the Families, Members, or Personnel sections, click Quick Emails/Text Msgs.

  • From here, you can send an email or text message based on your needs:
    • Simple Email - Best for a quick, basic message; for example, a quick update to your staff.
    • Advanced Email - Select a template to use or create your own. Include images and formatted text for a more formal look; for example, a newsletter to your parishioners.
    • Text Message - Quickly communicate via text. You must have text message providers set up with phone type keywords. Go to File > Setup > Email & Text Setup, and select the providers you need on the Text Message Provider Setup tab. Then, make sure each record you want to text includes one of the text provider phone types for the individual's mobile phone number.
  • Send your message to just the current record you came from (if they have an email or text phone number listed), or you can select a group of people to send to. If you plan to use this message again in the future, you can select Save as a Report.

  • You can also create emails or texts in the Reports window. Just click Letter/Email/Text and select an option. For steps, see Email Letters and Statements.

More Student Confirmation Info
  • We modified all of the applicable quick postings and processes to include more student information to help ensure you've selected the correct individual. At a minimum, the name, ID, address, and the relationship or member type display for the individual you selected. This is useful if you have students with similar or identical names.

View Family Information Before Importing
  • The family import now displays the list of information that will be imported from your file. You can view and edit any information before importing the records into PDS.

Link Records across Sacramental Registers
  • We heard requests from folks who wanted to see the same person's record when moving between different sacramental registers. Now, you can do this using the Link button. After you link to a member record or to another register entry, you'll see the same person between registers. For steps, see Link Records in Sacramental Registers.

    Gif showing the same member when you switch between sacramental registers

Default Dioceses in Sacrament Places
  • Previously, when adding a sacrament place in Canada or Mexico, you had to configure the list to include these dioceses. Now, by default, the list includes dioceses in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico/Other. If you don't need any of these in your list, you can clear the checkbox in the Configure drop-down list.

    Sacrament Places window with the Configure drop-down list showing options for Catholic-U.S., Catholic-Canada, Catholic-Mexico/Other, and Greek Orthodox-U.S.

Partial Sacrament Dates in Online Forms
  • If you include sacraments on your online registration forms, you'll notice the date is split up into month, day, and year drop-down fields. That means families can select partial dates, which is useful if they don't know the exact day or month that the sacrament was received.

    Example of the online registration form showing sacraments with separate date fields for month, day, and year

Running Total in Payment/Donation Entry
  • When posting payments/donations, you can view either the total for the batch or the running total up to the line you are currently on. Select Total to Cursor to see the running total.

    Batch screen showing the difference between the totals when the "Total to Cursor" option is not selected versus selected

Vanco User IDs
  • Vanco has started issuing user IDs that are longer than the previous 10-character limit. PDS now allows up to 15 characters for user IDs.

Log Totals for Quick Postings
  • After running a batch of payments, the total amount is posted in the log of user activity. This applies to Payment/Donation Entry, eGiving, Post Family Fees, Post Student Fees, Pledge Card Entry, and Terms and Rates Entry.

    The Log of User Activity showing an entry for "Quick Posting of Family Fees completed" with the batch number, number of fees posted, and amount posted

Choose What You See First
  • You can choose which window you see first when you go to an area of the program. The default shows the Overview first, but you can change it to show the Primary/Personal window or the Listing screen first.

  • To do this, click the My Settings icon blue outline of computer monitor at the top, and click Other Screens. Select which window to display first for each area.

    The Other Screens tab under My Settings showing the options for Detail, Primary/Personal, Overview, and Listing in each program area

  • You can also use the gear icon black gear with a hole in the middle on each of these windows to change your selection.

    The gear icon drop-down list showing options for Show Primary First, Show Overview First, or Show Listing First

Customize the Overview Screens
  • You can decide what displays on the Overview screen for families, students, personnel, and funds. Click the gear icon black gear with a hole in the middle to select which sections to display.

    The gear icon drop-down list showing options for different sections you can choose to display on the overview

Include Plain Text in PDF Emails
  • When you send an email as a PDF document attachment, you can include a plain text version of the letter in the email body. This allows recipients to view the email without having to open attachments.

    Email Message window with the "Email as PDF document attachment" option selected, and an example of an email with the PDF attachment

Skip Sending to Alternate Addresses
  • If families are residing at their alternate address, such as a vacation home, and are not marked to receive mail there, you can skip them when sending letters. By default, this option is selected when you run any family, student, parent/guardian, or fund report.

    The Selection Information tab showing the new checkbox for "Skip if at Alt Address and Send to Alt not Checked"

Increased Performance
  • We updated some back-end database settings to increase your program's performance. If you've experienced memory errors with previous versions, this should help!

Improved Search Detection
  • Have you ever tried to search on a name, only to find that the ID option was selected and the record wasn't found? Now, the program can detect when you enter a letter (for a name) versus a number (for an ID), and switch to the correct search option automatically. In the Students, Families, Tuition & Fees, Parents & Guardians, and Personnel sections, Auto Detect is enabled by default for all Name and ID options.

  • For example, if you type a number when the Family Name option is selected, your Search By field is automatically switched to the Family ID option, without interfering with your search. Likewise, if you type a letter when the Family ID option is selected, your Search By field switches to the Family Name option and the family you're looking for will display.

    Gif showing the Family/Member Search and how it switches to Family ID if you start typing a number when the Auto Detect option is enabled

Sort and Filter the Listing Screens
  • On all listing screens, you can now select a sort order and filter based on the column headers. Click the icon filter next to stacked up and down arrows beside the column header you want to sort by or filter.
    • To sort the list with this column in ascending or descending order, select an Order by option.
    • To filter the entire list and only show certain records, click the add icon green plus sign to enter one or more conditions. If you enter multiple conditions, it works like an OR statement. For example, the filter below would show all records with a city equal to Phoenix OR a city equal to Florence.

    Options window for the "City" column showing "Order by: Ascending" and filters for city "Equal to Phoenix, AZ" and city "Equal to Florence, SC"

  • When you order a column, the ascending icon up arrow or descending icon down arrow displays beside the column header. When you filter, the filter icon displays. If a column is both ordered and filtered, both icons display; for example, filter next to down arrow.

  • You can sort and filter multiple columns at the same time. But be aware that the options you select apply to columns from left to right. So, if the list is not sorting the way you expect, check the order of your columns.

  • Your sort and filter options are saved when you navigate away from the listing screen. When you come back, the list is still sorted/filtered the way you left it.

  • To clear the order or filter on a single column, click the column header and click Clear. To clear the options on all columns, click Clear Order/Filter at the top-left of the listing screen.

  • The ability to order and filter is enabled by default. If you decide you don't want to use this feature, you can disable it using the gear icon at the top-right of the listing screen.

Export Lists from Reports and Listing Screens
  • We added the ability to export listing reports as well as the items from listing screens. Click Export List at the bottom of any listing screen or the bottom of any listing report overview window, and you can save the file in a simple column format. The default file type is .csv, but you can export to .xml, .txt, .xls, or .ods, depending on how you want to use the file.

  • Note that advanced reports cannot be exported due to their complexity, so you won’t see the button on every report. However, you can save advanced reports directly to a file, where you have options for .xls and .txt. You may have to work with the alignment in the file to get the results you want.

Improved Online Registration Form Processing
  • When processing an online form that matches a record in your database, any differences display in blue text. To filter out the information that's the same, click Show Only Differences. Also, any fields that are blank on both the registration form and the matching record will not display. This way, you can process forms more easily and focus on the information that matters most.

    Gif showing an online registration form being processed and the difference between the fields with the Show All option selected versus the Show Only Differences option selected

Settings Based on Users
  • After hearing your feedback, we changed the way some settings are saved on the backend. Some settings were being saved based on the computer you were using, but now, they're saved based on your PDS user login.

PDS Videos
  • Want to see how things are done in PDS? Now, you can learn how to do certain tasks with reports, records, files, and eGiving. Click the video player icon play button inside film strip at the top of your program for quick access to the PDS Video Library. We plan to provide more videos over time.

New and Improved Report Features

Reports for Student Grades
  • Now you can create reports that include student grades, such as report cards. There is a student listing report called Student Progress Report Card. For steps, see Print Student Progress Report Cards. Grades are also included on the Student Complete Information Form and the Student Schedule Listing reports.

Invoice for Multiple Funds
  • You can provide parishioners with an invoice that includes different funds. This way, you don't have to run the same report multiple times. Use the new report under Financial Statements called Chg & Pay with Return Coupon-MultiFunds. Each fund is separated into its own running total, and the coupon shows the sum of all balances due.

Compare Family Contributions Over Three Years
  • You can analyze up to 3 years of weekly, monthly, and quarterly totals for a certain time period. For example, you can compare the totals for January through April of this year, last year, and the year before. Under Financial Analysis Reports, select Financial Comparisons for Partial Years.

    Example of the Financial Comparison for Partial Years showing weekly totals across three years

Online Registration Report
  • We added more information to the report that prints after you process online registration forms. It now displays the ethnicity and birthday for each family member.

Number of Years Registered
  • We added a field that you can use in reports and selections called Fam Formation Years Registered. This displays the number of years from the Registered date on the family record to either the Left Parish date (if applicable) or today's date.

Residence Address Fields in Sacramental Registers
  • We heard a request about recording a residential address for first communion candidates as well as deceased individuals. Now, in the First Comm and Death registers, you'll see the field called Residence, along with City/State, ZIP/Postal Code, and Country. These fields are only available when printing reports from the Sacramental Registers.

Sacrament Sponsor Fields
  • We added fields for Sponsor1, Sponsor2, Sponsor3, and Sponsor4 under the Sac List section in Member reports. Sponsor1 prints the first name in the list of sponsors, Sponsor2 prints the second name in the list, and so on.


We fixed issues that were reported to our team, as well as the following issue that affected some of our customers:
  • When posting a batch of payments/donations, an error was displaying if you selected to print receipts.