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Keywords represent data you use throughout Formation Office. You can add them on family, student, personnel, and tuition/fee records. You can share these lists with other PDS programs, or they can be unique to Formation Office.

Below are the keyword groups. Click a group to see the description for each keyword list.


You can use these keywords for general information.


 General Keywords
  • Attendance Reasons — Reasons why a student may have missed a class, like "Car Accident", "Sick", and "Out of Town". Use these to explain tardiness when tracking attendance.
  • Background Check Descriptions — Types of background checks you conduct for employees and volunteers, like "Employment Background", "Federal Background", and "Fingerprints". You can include the number of months the background check is valid before renewal is required.
  • City/State Names — Cities/states, country codes, area codes, and ZIP/Postal codes you can use in address fields. The Default City/State you select is automatically inserted when you click or tab to a blank City/State field.
  • Class or Session Year/Period — Years or periods you use to identify classes or sessions, such as "2019/2020". Select your current year/period as the default.
  • Email Description Names — Types of email addresses used by families, students, and personnel. For example: "Personal" and "Work".
  • Ethnicity Names — Race, origin, or culture, such as "Native American", "Jewish", and "Asian".
  • Grades and Degrees — Grade levels and types of degrees you can post to student records, like "Kindergarten", "3", and "GED".
  • Language Names — Languages spoken by members and personnel. For example: "English" for a single language household, and "Spanish/English" for a bilingual household where Spanish is the primary language.
  • Letter Types — Types of letters you send to members or contacts, like "Birthday Greeting", "Home Visit", and "Final Reminder". Use these on the Letters, Visits, Etc. window.
  • Marital Status Names — Descriptions for the marriage status for each family member. For example: "Church Marriage", "Civil Marriage", "Engaged", and "Widowed".
  • Phone Description Names — Types of phone numbers people use, like "Home" and "Cell".
  • Requirement Descriptions — Things that personnel are required to do before they can work or volunteer at your organization, like "Orientation", "Reference Letter", and "Sensitivity Training". This includes the number of months the requirement is valid before renewal is required.
  • Relationship Names — Typical relationship descriptions and the default Member Type you associate with the relationship. For example: "Uncle–Adult", "Wife–Spouse", and "Stepson–Child".
  • Room Numbers/Names — Room numbers and names you use for your classes/sessions, such as "33", "Blue Room", and "Gym".
  • Time Periods — Times that your classes/sessions meet, like "7:00 AM - 8:00 AM" and "3:00 PM - 4:30 PM".


You can use these keywords on family and tuition/fee records.


 Family/Fund Keywords
  • Family Keyword Names — Terms that aren't covered by the existing family fields but you want to keep track of. For example: "Founding Family" and "Active in Block Watch".
  • Family Status Names — Relationships of the family members in a particular household, like "Multigenerational Family", "Blended Family", and "Relatives". This is called Status on records.
  • Family User — Customize this field for anything you need to know about a family. If you select to use this field for Formation Office, it displays on the family's Primary Information window.
  • Fund Keywords — Descriptions of how families handle their funds, such as "Canceled Enrollment", "Non-Contributing Parish", and "Contributes Once Per Year". You can post fund keywords to the Rates/History/Keywds window.


Use these keywords on student and parent/guardian records.


 Student/Parent/Guardian Keywords
  • Celebrant Names — Names of those who celebrate Mass or perform other services. For example: "Rev. Williams" and "Father Jones".
  • Ministry Names — Types of ministries you can post to student records, like "Altar Server", "Choir", and "Deacon".
  • Preparation Class Names — Classes that parents/guardians attend to prepare for something. For example: "Baptism", "Eucharist", and "Reconciliation".
  • Service/Retreat Names — Services or retreats that students attend, such as "Carnival", "Community Service", and "Confirmation Retreat".
  • Sponsor/Witness Types — Types of sponsors and witnesses for student sacraments, like "Christian Witness", "Proxy", and "Godfather".
  • Student/P/G Keywords — Miscellaneous comments or information not contained in other fields in the Student and Parent/Guardian windows. For example: "Bloodmobile Donor", "Needs Physical Assistance", and "School Computer Lab Volunteer".
  • Talent/Ministry Status Names — The status of someone's involvement in a talent or ministry. This can also identify needs, willingness to volunteer, or need for a reply. For example: "Actively Involved", "No Longer Involved", and "No Response". Select Yes to indicate that a status means a person is currently involved, or select No if the status means a person is not currently involved.
  • Talent Names — Talents or services that an individual is willing to provide, such as "Carpentry", "Drawing", and "Clerical Work".


Under Student/Parent/Guardian/Personnel Keywords, there are 11 User Keywords that you can customize.


 User Keywords

This can be any information you want to track that isn't already covered by a keyword or field.

Assign the name of the keyword, such as "Occupation", and set up the options you want in the keyword list. For example, under Occupation, you can enter "Accountant", "Secretary", "Doctor", and so on. By default, the first three User Keyword names are set up. You can change these even if you transferred data from an earlier version of PDS.


You can use these keywords on personnel records.


 Personnel Keywords
  • Achievement Types — Awards and merits that personnel receive. You can add these on personnel records. For example: "Outstanding Leadership Award" and "Teacher of the Year".
  • Clergy Keywords — Any information you want to track for clergy that isn't covered by existing fields, like "Parish Council" and "Haiti Visit Member".
  • Department Types — Departments that your employees work in, such as "Church", "School", and "Maintenance".
  • Education Types — Types of education that personnel have, like "Ph.D." and "Microsoft MVP".
  • Personnel Keywords — Any information that isn't covered by existing personnel fields. For example: "Youth Group Chaperon" and "Needs Physical Assistance".
  • Personnel Types — Designations of personnel, such as "Bishop", "Friar", and "Part Time".

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