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SwiftK12 - How to Use PDF Builder

The PDF Builder within SwfitK12 will help your school reduce paper, ink and mailing expenses by posting parsed .pdf reports from within PowerSchool to the parent portal, as well as optionally alerting student families of its availability, including a copy of the report.

To get started, begin by logging into PowerSchool and click on System Reports or ReportWorks depending on the type of report you wish to use. 

The examples shown will walk you through the report setup using a PowerSchool default report card. 

First, click on the Setup tab.

Next, click on Report Cards option to see the list of sample templates.

In this example, we will be using Sample – HS Report Card


The following template set-up screen will then appear. Notice that the StudentID:Student_Number must be on the template.  In this example, it is shown in the Heading.

Click Heading.  Add the coding needed to have StudentID: Student_Number merged onto the first page of each result file.  StudentID must be all one word, all together and is case-sensitive.  Be sure to follow this with a colon (:).  If you do not want the StudentID:Student_Number visible to parents, use white font when adding it to the template.  The format may be similar to one of the following and it is recommended that it be added to the templates header.

                                  i.    <studentID>StudentID:^(Student_Number)</studentID>

                                ii.    StudentID: ~(Student_Number)

                              iii.    StudentID: ^(Student_Number)

                              iv.    StudentID:@ID. Student_Number@

1.    Now, run the report for the student(s) desired.  Reports may be run for individual students, groups of students, the entire school or an entire grade.   


Note: Some users like to practice this process by choosing a staff member’s child or using a test student.  To practice, you may wish to update a student’s information in PowerSchool to your contact information temporarily.  If you do not have the option to Print a Report, please contact your technical team to receive the correct PowerSchool security permissions.


2.    From the Report Queue Job Detail screen, click on the appropriate Job Name; for example, Sample – HS Report Card

a.    Right-click on the Result File, Sample_-_HS_Report_Card.pdf.  This will allow for you to preview and save the resulting file without losing your PowerSchool session.  As you will need to retrieve this file soon, save it in a folder that is easy to locate again; most likely, a shared folder on your school or district computer.


Once saved, return to PowerSchool.

Select SwiftReach SwiftK12 from the Alerting menu on the left-hand side of your PowerSchool screen.

Choose PDF Builder (Parse PDFs) from the main menu screen

From the PDF Builder Wizard screen, enter in the report title and the report description

Although optional, it is highly recommend that you include a .pdf password for protection of your report.  Use the Password Protection field drop-down to select either None, Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY), or Student Number for the file’s password.

Within the Expiration (days) field, type in the days you would like to keep the file available for download from the parent portal.

Finally, click on Choose File and select the saved .pdf on your computer, from your earlier report run.

Click Upload

On the Preview and confirm proper report data screen, you will be informed if the upload was successful or had errors. If successful, you may preview the first three student report .pdfs for accuracy.  If everything looks correct, click Next. However, if you need to adjust any items from your developed report, click on the Back button and revise.

On the Inform student contacts of new PDF reports via Email? screen, you can determine if you wish to email the student contacts informing them that this new .pdf document is available on the parent portal. To do so, place a check mark into the box titled, "Yes, alert the contacts by email" box. 

You will then be prompted to fill in the alert type, email subject and the body of the email. For sample content to consider in your message body, based on chosen password protection, please click here.

The editing toolbar gives you a lot of flexibility in developing your message.  You can change the font type, size and color; add bullet points, tables and more. 

If you would like to include an image from your email stationery library, click the Image icon from the message content box. Then, select the Link tab, followed by Browse Server. Select the image you would like to include in the message content, and click OK.

If you would like to use one of your developed Email stationery options, click on the Templates option in the top-left corner of the message content box.

Then, select the appropriate Content Template from the selection shown on the screen. If you wish to replace the actual content in the existing message with your chosen template, place a checkmark in the box that reads “Replace actual contents”.


You may also leave this box unchecked, if you would like. By leaving the box unchecked, the report will post to the parent portal without notification of its availability. 

Click Next.

On the Confirm options and generate reports? screen, you must attest that you have previewed the resulting report files in the prior screen and that you have read informational screens. This must be done before you will be allowed to press Done.

Once you are satisfied with your developed report send, press Done.

You have now successfully launched parsed .pdf documents to student families using SwiftK12’s PDF Builder. You may review the results of your send via the View History and Reports option on the main menu.

Tip!  PDF Builder can be used for much more than just report cards!  This application can be used to send virtually any PDF the school or district can merge in StudentID: Student_Number.  The reports do not have to come from PowerSchool.

Tips to Help Streamline this Process:

1. Don’t Wait Until Friday to Send

This is a peak time for most users, and because every email is a unique process, it can take longer to receive confirmations.

2. Send in Small Batches Throughout the Day

We do not remove duplicate emails for parsed pdf report sends due to siblings. Some email providers may block a second email to the same address if sent within a tight timeframe. Try batch sending report cards by grade with slightly different send times.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Only a few students have valid contact information or none at all. Why is that?

Review the PowerSchool email field(s) that you have data entered in. Confirm that students have valid contact information in those fields.

2. My report shows the status of ‘Error’. Why is that?

This status is most often due to the PDF not having the StudentID: Student_Number in the correct format. Please ensure that StudentID is all together as one word with the S-I-D capitalized. Review the PDF to ensure there is no space between Student and ID. Please retry and if the issue persists, submit a ticket to Support at  for assistance. You may also select Live Online Help from the Live HELP! Menu in SwiftK12 if you are experiencing issues during the available times of online assistance.

3. Are Watermark images supported on the report files?

At this time, we do not support Watermark images on report files.  Please rerun your report without the watermark if you experience any issues with your report processing.

4. How are the students the report is being sent to chosen?  Can I use Current Selection to narrow this down?

The report file is used to determine the recipient list.  For each unique Student_Number found, a contact is considered.  If you wish to narrow down the number of students' contact records the reporting is being sent to, you may choose to run the report for a smaller selection of students using PowerSchool's search option prior to running the report.  

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