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In the Initial Setup window, you can specify various program options and preferences and set the default subdirectories. On the File menu, click Setup > Initial Setup.


Additional field information is listed below. Most fields are self-explanatory, so not all fields are documented.

Additional Field Information
  • Don't Use Filters — Disable the filters you set up in the program. This option only displays when you're not sharing data.

  • Default Picture Subdirectory and Default Documents Subdirectory — Enter the path where you want to store the pictures and/or documents you attach or create within the program.

    Useful Information

    In order for the images/documents to be included in automatic data backups, set the default location to the Pictures/Documents folder inside the PDS Formation data folder. For example: X:\PDSFormation\Data\Pictures or X:\PDSFormation\Data\Documents. This increases the size of your backup. If you set the default location outside the PDS Data folder, you must remember to manually back up the digital images/documents.
  • Automatically Update  — At the scheduled time, if an update is available, a notice displays in the Home window. You must enter an email address in the License Information window before using this feature.

Program Options tab

  • Weekly is Weekly on Sunday — Calculates recurring terms and rates based on the number of Sundays in the recurring period. In the Tuition & Fees window, when you set up a recurring charge and select the terms, by default, the amount is calculated based on the number of times that day of the week falls within the recurring period. For example, if the starting date is on a Wednesday and you select Weekly, the recurring charge applies every week on Wednesday. This can affect how the amount is calculated because a year can have 53 Wednesdays, but only 52 Sundays.

  • Save Order when Exit Program — You can save the order that you navigate records in the Student, Family, Tuition & Fees, and Sacramental Register windows. Otherwise, the navigation order resets after you leave a window or exit the program.

  • Processes Should Affect Family Date Changed — Alters the Screen Changed date in the family record every time you run a process.

  • Ask for Reason on Significant Changes — Logs occurrences of important changes to family data and the reasons for the changes. The reasons for changes display in red if they were made in another PDS program that is synced with the current PDS program.
    If selected, you're prompted when you make changes to the following information:

    • Family Name

    • Street Address

    • City/State

    • ZIP/Postal

    • Family Status (active or inactive)

    • Delete a family, member, or email address

    • Sync information with the diocese

    • Mark a member deceased

    ... or when you run the following system processes:

    • Change Area Code
    • Change Case of Information
    • Change Names
    • Change Addresses

    Useful Information

    You can view logged changes and reasons from three locations within the program:
  • Default to Student Personal Window — If selected, when you click Students on the Information tab, the Personal window displays. If cleared, the Detail window displays first.

  • Disable Add Head/Spouse when Add Family — When you add a new family record, the Head or Spouse type isn't automatically assigned.

  • Disable Family/Member Name Change Help — Disables the question dialog box that normally displays when you change family or member names.

  • Default to Show Totals for All Funds — Displays the totals for all funds in the Tuition & Fees windows. Otherwise, the fund totals are hidden.

  • Processes Should Affect Member Date Changed — Alters the Screen Changed date in the member record every time you run a process.

  • Rates can be Charges or Payments — Sets a recurring activity as either a charge or a payment. If you clear this check box, the recurring activity must be a charge.

  • Split M/M if Spouse has Different Last Name — Splits the compound title for a family if the spouse's last name is different. For example, "Mr." and "Mrs." instead of "M/M".

  • Sharing Data Options — If you share data with Church and/or School Office, select which information to share. You can also allow other Office programs to add or remove records in Formation Office.

  • Preferred Family Title — Select how you want the titles of married couples to display on family records. This applies to most titles, including M/D, Mr. & Dr., Mr. and Dr.; S/S, Señor & Señora, Señor and Señora; and so on.

Student Options tab

  • Sacrament Sponsor Format — How sponsor names print on sacrament certificates.

  • Include Middle Names when using the Use Default Values Button — When entering sacrament information, you can click the Use Default Values button to automatically fill in father's and mother's names from the member records. Select this option to include middle names.
  • Student Information — Edit the default Student Field values. These values display as the tab names at the bottom of the student's Detail window.

  • Use School Attendance Choices — If you used School Office to take attendance and have moved to Formation, you can use the attendance types from School. Once selected, you're prompted to select the values to use for your existing attendance. Make sure you back up your data before changing this option.

    Useful Information

    Formation attendance choices include Absent, Present, Excused, Unexcused, and Tardy.

    School attendance choices are AE - Absent Excused, AU - Absent Unexcused, HU - Absent Half Day (Unexcused), HE - Absent Half Day (Excused), AM - Absent Medical (Excused), TE - Tardy Excused, TU - Tardy Unexcused, TM - Tardy Medical (Excused), ED - Early Dismissal (Excused), MM - Morning Medical Absence (Excused), AA - Afternoon Medical Absence (Excused), and MD - Make-up Day.

Personnel Options tab

  • Other Benefits Names — Set up to four custom benefit names to display in the personnel's Health/Insurance window.

  • Sharing Personnel Data Options — Select whether to share certain personnel data from Formation Office with the Church or School Office programs.

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