A program designed by Catholics for use in Catholic Parishes.
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Custom Programs
David Marchak

Using the Sort Name

Each time you enter a family or an individual, Paritek asks you to put in a "sort name". It may seem like extra work to record this information twice, but the field can be used to your advantage (and it is usually filled in for you when you add a new record).

Mc's and Mac's

Years ago, it was common to sort families with surnames that started with Mc or Mac separately from the rest of the M's. This would mean that McDonald and MacDonald would be next to each other and easy to find. Computers have a difficult time with this concept because they just sort by the binary code which represents each letter. Now, most people accept that MacDonald will come before Mackie which comes before McDonald.

Paritek attempts to reverse this trend of letting computers make the decisions by giving you the ability to enter a sort name. Simply enter the sort name for McDonald as M Donald (there's a space between the M and the D) and MacDonald the same way. Then the program will see the space and file it alphabetically before the letter A. Thus you get all the Mc's and Mac's at the start of the M's.

This trick also works for names like de la Cruz, Dean, Dela Nova and Delaney. Normally the computer would sort these de la Cruz (space between de and la), Dean, Dela Nova (space between Dela and Nova) and finally Delaney. By entering the surnames as delacruz, dean, delanova and delaney, the program would properly sort these as Dean, de la Cruz, Delaney, and Dela Nova. Note that Paritek does not care whether names are made up of uppercase letters or mixed case.

When you are looking for names to sort properly, you might want to consider names like O'Brien, van der Kellerman, d'lima, or La Couvee.

Common Surnames

In many cases, the surname by itself will direct you to the correct family. Even if there are two or three families with the same surname, you will be able to see the correct family almost immediately. But what happens when you have thirty families with the same surname and many of those have common first names as well.

If you had three families named "Mr. & Mrs. Robert Smith", how would you tell them apart. By using the sort name you could include a middle initial, a spouse name, or even a number. Perhaps one Robert Smith is the father of another Robert Smith. By using sort names of "Smith, Robert-1" and "Smith, Robert-2", you could ensure that the senior Smith always appears first on the list. If you know that one Robert Smith is married to Elaine and another is married to Patricia, you could set the surnames as "Smith, R-E" and "Smith, R-P".

Accents in Names

When a surname like Légère is sorted by a computer, it will be placed at the end of the L's because é is ASCII code 130, while e is ASCII code 101 (and Z is code 122). Since 130 is greater than 122, the computer thinks é is a letter after z. In order to compensate for this, you can enter Legere as the sort name while retaining Légère as the surname. The family is not insulted that you anglicized their name, while their name still comes alphabetically between Lef and Leh.

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Content copyright © 2001-2009 David Marchak
This page last updated June 15, 2009