Church Management

The 9 Top Free Church Management Software

By | 12 min read | Published ; Updated on

Managing daily operations is a much smoother process with church management software.

Church management includes a wide variety of activities, including event management related to weddings or prayer events, member engagement, and finance management. Efficient handling of each of these activities is important for a church like yours to reach its goals and thrive. This is where church management software can help.

Church management software is a cloud-based tool that helps administrators and pastors to organize the daily operations of a church or any other religious organization.

The software helps automate routine tasks related to church administration, such as reporting and coordination, keeping tabs on contributions, facilitating communication, as well as managing contact information and data.

This article highlights nine of the best free church management software options, presented alphabetically. (To see how we selected these products, read our methodology at the bottom of this article.)

See the full list of free church management tools in Capterra’s software directory.
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Top 9 free church management software
1

Bitrix24: Offers a dedicated module for church management

Bitrix24 is an online software that offers a dedicated module for church management that allows users to manage administrative processes and donations. The tool also helps you manage the church directory and contact information for an unlimited number of members.

In addition to the above, the tool offers multiple features, such as opinion polling, group chats, and video conferencing to facilitate communication between members and volunteers.

You can also use Bitrix24 to gain complete insights into contributions, upcoming events, and the internal processes of your church.

Bitrix24 has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Account management
  • Agenda management
  • Applicant tracking
  • Appointment management
  • Attendance tracking
  • Attendee management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price::

$49 per month

Support options:

Email and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Task management in Bitrix24 (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/113540/Bitrix24"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Task management in Bitrix24 (Source)

2

Chmeetings: Provides bulk messaging to facilitate event coordination

Chmeetings is an online church management solution with an advanced search feature that enables users to access data quickly and then convert the data into actionable reports. The software allows you to import vital information from spreadsheets to a centralized database, build custom member profiles, track attendance history, and schedule follow-ups.

As a Chmeetings user, you can send messages to members in bulk. This is especially useful when you have important events coming up or important announcements to make. The software offers multiple user accounts, without the need for separate login credentials. Administrators can also add access restrictions for users to enhance security.

The platform features an activity dashboard that allows users to track member participation and coordinate events.

Chmeetings has a mobile app for both iOS and Android users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Attendance tracking
  • Donation management
  • Event management
  • Member communication
  • Membership management
  • Small group management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$10 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dashboard overview in Chmeetings (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/184192/Chmeetings/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Dashboard overview in Chmeetings (Source)

3

ChurchTrac: Features smart lists to facilitate member management

ChurchTrac is a cloud-based church management software that enables users to manage people, events, volunteer support, and contributions among other activities. As a ChurchTrac user, you can keep track of member data, including contact and attendance details. You can also use the software to print directories, update records, track calendar events, and send reminders for important events.

The platform offers a smart list feature that allows you to quickly divide people into categories depending on a given set of criteria. For instance, you can use this feature to group members and non-members. Users can either create their own smart list or use the pre-set smart list options of the software.

In addition to member management, ChurchTrac allows you to accept and manage online donations. The software allows users to generate contribution reports and print statements. It also provides for financial management, which includes tracking and managing the budget and accounts of the church.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
Most affordable
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Key Features:

  • Asset tracking
  • Attendance tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Budgeting/Forecasting
  • Donation management
  • Event management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$5 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;">Giving statement in ChurchTrac (<a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/125787/ChurchTrac/">Source</a>)</p>

Giving statement in ChurchTrac (Source)

4

Clearstream: Allows for mobile text-based communication

Clearstream is an online tool that facilitates communication amongst the members of the church, regardless of its size. As a Clearstream user, you can organize contacts into specific groups, track incoming/outgoing messages, notify members about last-minute changes, share personalized messages, and even send emergency notifications to relevant contacts.

You can also use Clearstream to connect with first-time guests using a unique text-to-join keyword. The guest needs to enter this keyword and fill out a short digital connect card. Once this is done, they get added to the community automatically, and there is no need to manually enter their information into subsequent church meetings.

The platform offers advanced texting features, including five-digit short codes and 10-digit long codes to send and receive messages. It integrates well with several third-party applications, including Planning Center, MailChimp, and Slack.

Clearstream has a mobile app for both iOS and Android users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Event management
  • Member communication
  • Member directory
  • Membership management
  • Mobile access
  • Volunteer management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$29 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tracking live metrics in Clearstream (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/158103/Clearstream/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Tracking live metrics in Clearstream (Source)

5

Continue to Give: Provides fundraising tools to help with giving

Continue to Give is an online fundraising platform for churches and missionaries. The software provides donation tools to users which allows them to collect donations across multiple platforms, such as fundraising events or social media crowdfunding.

As a Continue to Give user, you can integrate your software with social media websites to encourage giving via easy QR codes or “text-to-give” options.

If you are a donor, you can use the software to schedule recurring donations using a variety of payment methods, update your payment options, and generate receipts.

Some of the notable features of the software include campaign management, donation tracking, and event management.

Continue to Give has a mobile app for both iOS and Android users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Accounting integration
  • Campaign management
  • Contribution tracking
  • Donation management
  • Donor management
  • Gift matching management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$29 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dashboard overview in Continue to Give (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/142350/Continue-to-Give/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Dashboard overview in Continue to Give (Source)

6

eDisciples: Offers rosters and task functionality for event management


eDisciples is a church management platform that provides tools to facilitate member and event management. The software allows you to import your pre-existing spreadsheets into eDisciples and filter members based on custom fields. It also reminds you of important dates by way of email or push notifications.

In addition to managing databases, the software helps streamline communication between members with the help of advanced features, such as voice notes and delivery receipts. In addition, as an eDisciples user, you can schedule messages in advance and send them to the targeted recipients at a later date or time.

The software also offers rosters and task functionality that allows you to assign duties to members and volunteers during events.

Lastly, eDisciples allows you to track donations and view the progress of the church with the help of detailed insight reports.

eDisciples has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Built-in accounting
  • Child check-in
  • Donation management
  • Event management
  • Member portal
  • Online giving
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$9 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Managing member database in eDisciples (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/200576/eDisciples/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Managing member database in eDisciples (Source)

7

Faithlife Giving: Create flexible donation plans to encourage recurring giving

Faithlife Giving is an online church accounting software that allows users to manage the finances of the church, including donations and gifts. The software enables users to set up and manage recurring gifts, which can be scheduled on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. It also features an interactive dashboard that allows you to evaluate giving trends over a selected period of time.

As a Faithlife Giving user, you can create several types of funds, including benevolence, mission, and campaign. By using a drag-and-drop interface, you can view contribution history for each type of giving.

The software allows you to receive payments via multiple methods, such as credit/debit cards and bank transfers. Administrators can use the tool to generate and distribute tax receipts as well.

Faithlife Giving has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
8

Planning Center: Features check-in tool for management of church events

Planning Center is a church management solution that allows administrators to maintain member records, process online donations, conduct background checks on volunteers, and coordinate church events.

The software offers a check-in tool that allows you to check your guests in and out of an event by using a phone number or a barcode scanner. The tool also provides for child check-in, which means that you can simply match the code on the children’s name tags to their guardian’s labels and keep the parents informed of their children’s whereabouts during an event, send emergency texts, and ensure safe pick-ups. In addition to the check-in tool, the software features a resource app that allows users to publish calendars and make room reservations for the event.

As a Planning Center user, you can maintain a donor database and count physical donations as well. The church management system features a giving app that can be used to accept and process donations, track activities, and issue statements.

Planning Center has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Attendance tracking
  • Child check-in
  • Donation management
  • Event management
  • Member directory
  • Membership management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$14 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Setting schedule preferences in Planning Center (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/76708/Planning-Center/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Setting schedule preferences in Planning Center (Source)

9

Tithe.ly: Provides multi-campus support for managing donations

Tithe.ly is an online giving solution designed for churches of all sizes. The software offers a range of giving options, including debit/credit cards and ACH bank account transfers, and provides donors with the flexibility to set up one-time or recurring donations. You can also use Tithe.ly to donate via text or kiosks.

The software provides donors with the ability to contribute to different organizations using separate bank accounts and track their donations using the multi-campus configuration feature. Donors, upon making a payment, receive an instant invoice stating the amount and the organization to which they have donated.

As a Tithe.ly user, you can create customized giving forms and receipts for your church using your logo, graphics, and colors.

Payments made via Tithe.ly are encrypted with 256-bit TLS/SSL (transport layer security and secure socket layer, respectively) to ensure enhanced security.

Tithe.ly has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users.

*Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Application management
  • Campaign management
  • Chord chart management
  • Contribution tracking
  • Donation management
  • Dues management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Starting price:

$49 per month

Support options:

Phone, email, and chat

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tracking giving history in Tithe.ly (</span><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/154664/Tithe-ly-Church-Giving/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></p>

Tracking giving history in Tithe.ly (Source)

How to choose the right free church management software

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind when looking for free church management software:

  • Select a software that helps you manage church memberships: Creating and managing the database of church members is one of the essential features of a church management software. Make sure that the free church software you select provides tools for capturing and tracking member data, including their basic details, family structures, and contact information. Additionally, it should allow you to add volunteers/new church members to the database, manage their respective schedules, and track their attendance during important events.
  • Donation management is a vital feature to have in your software: Similar to database management, church management software should also facilitate the management of donations and pledges. While looking for free church software, ensure that the systems you are reviewing enables members to make online donations and then track the history of their contributions. It should also generate automatic reports and invoices so that members can keep track of all transactions and encourage giving, whenever and wherever required.
  • Be sure your software can help you manage your events: While selecting free church management software, make sure that the tool allows you to set reminders for important church events, schedule rooms for specific occasions, keep track of any required inventory, and create an online calendar for all your events. Additionally, it should provide for seamless member check-in and volunteer management.

Common questions to ask when choosing free church management software

It’s important to make sure that the software you end up purchasing fits all of your church’s needs. To be sure that the systems you are reviewing have everything you need, we have listed some common questions below that you can ask each software vendor.

Does your software facilitate communication and outreach?

A church is an organization of administrators, members, and visitors. As the organization grows, you need to connect with your members. Before you select a free tool for your church, make sure that it helps you to foster communication between members and expand your outreach. This might include mass messaging tools, video conferencing facilities, access to the online directory, automatic reminders, push notifications, and calendar sharing.

How does your software cover child check-in and security?

Child check-in is an essential feature that you must look for in church management software. Make sure that the software you select allows you to record check-in and check-out times of attendees during events, print individual labels for each child, and add security tags, along with instructions, if any, to ensure safe pick-ups.

Do you offer a user-friendly dashboard?

Having an easy-to-use dashboard is imperative, especially when it comes to viewing things such as donations and physical contributions. A fully-featured dashboard provides you with all your important information at a single location and helps save time. In addition to the dashboard, the church management system must also provide tools for statistics and reporting so that you get relevant insights for making informed decisions.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.


At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products have to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher. We selected nine products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software-not a trial version you have to purchase after a certain amount of time to get the full experience.
  3. Meet our definition of church management software: “Church management software (ChMS) handles functions such as accounting, donation tracking, service attendance, membership, event schedules, and activities. Churches use church management systems to automate and organize administrative functions including document creation, outreach, and event scheduling. These systems help churches better track resources and foster communication between administrators, staff, ministry leaders, members, and visitors.”

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.

The “best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews (as of December 7, 2021).

The “most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade ( as of December 7, 2021).


Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.

About the Author

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor

Shephalii Kapoor is a writer at Capterra. She helps small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews for top-rated software products. Prior to Gartner, she worked as an assistant content manager at InfoEdge India Ltd. She has also worked in company law, aviation, and real estate. She is a published author and has contributed to various magazines and websites. During her free time, she enjoys reading.

Related Reading

Comments

Avatar

Comment by Andrew Conrad on

Hi Abiodun! I would try a few of the options in this article, and if you don’t find one that works for you, check out our Most Popular list (https://www.capterra.com/church-management-software/#infographic). You can rest assured knowing that any product on that list is reliable and supported. There are also options there for Most Affordable and Most User Friendly to fit your needs. Good luck!

Comment by abiodun emmanuel on

i need the best church management software to install

Comment by Grant Ebel on

Bambi, if you are self-hosting on any resonably up-to-date PHP server you can use the Church Admin plugin. That should work even if it’s your own local server too. It is good if you can live with it’s limitations and aren’t using anything else already.
I’ve recently moved us from churchinfo to churchcrm. They have an impressive turn around on bug reports. Thanks for the reference Simon!

Avatar

Comment by Bambi Lee Dean on

but Andy, you failed to mention that you must have an upgraded wordpress business account/plan

Avatar

Comment by Andy Moyle on

Church Admin is a powerful plugin for churches using WordPress.

It has address lists, member tracking, small groups, classes, children’s ministry, bulk sms and email tools, rotas/schedules, sermon mp3s and calendar – and is completely FREE!

There is an associated smartphone app that churches can subscribe to for £7.50pm and church members can use for free,

Comment by Amber Cross on

Has anyone tried this? https://www.simplesigninonline.com/ It looks like exactly what we would want…I realize it is web-based, so if the Internet wasn’t working, we would have to resort to pencil and paper, but all we need are a couple of tablets and a label printer. And it is pretty affordable, and looks easy to use…I would love to know if anyone has had any experience using it. 🙂

Comment by Simon on

ChurchCRM (http://churchcrm.io/) is a fork of Churchinfo and has a modern responsive UI. have an active development community and you can migrate from churchinfo.

Comment by Paul D. on

I agree with the comment Paul Boudreau posted, stay away from MS products, they will be more costly to license before you even get to the software you’re after. I was excited about RockRMS until I saw that it’s a .NET / Windows platform. Looks like I’ll be installing OneBody, Jethro, and ChurchInfo see which one works best for us.

Comment by David McGUire on

I have a small military chapel community; 100 families. I am primarily focused on scheduling people for a variety of ministries during Sunday worship; music ministry, lectors, ushers, servers, etc. Any ideas of which one would be a good choice?

Comment by jonathan nipa on

what are the posible system requirements for church management

Avatar

Comment by Paul Boudreau on

Be careful of any software that is built on Microsoft products that claims to be free. The software might be free but Microsoft will want licensing for MS Server Operating system, .NET languages and SQL server if you want to host it locally on your internal local network. If you host these systems then none of that will be a concern. Also, if you want to run it on your own server keep in mind that any version of Linux will run more efficiently than any version or Windows. The point being that you can go buy a cheap used computer and it will run Linux perfectly fine, but not necessarily windows.

Comment by jamie paris on

I am looking for attendance software that will sync with contact information as well over cross platform(web) . Also needs to be tablet comparable. We have different sections that different people take roll in so they would need to be able to take roll on there own tablet. I need it to show if that person was present in the Sunday school class as well as the service? Do any of these fit in that category?

Comment by Mari on

Small church looking for free or very affordable check in/out process for VBS only. I don’t really need anything else. thanks

Avatar

Comment by Paul Pardede on

Is there a freeware church management software that also can create rosters? I’ve been looking at RockRMS. Any suggestions?

Comment by Alwyn Barry on

There are two web-based solutions which, as long as you self-host, are totally free. The one we have used in a medium sized church (250) is Jethro-pmm. It not only provides member information, but also for rotas, service schedules, service planning, groups, custom reports, attendance tracking, pastoral records and so much more. It is hugely capable, and even provides facilities for members to maintain their own details. They provide a hosted solution for a charge (see http://easyjethro.com.au/) but you can download and install it on your web host for free (see:https://github.com/tbar0970/jethro-pmm/releases). Few churches will need more features than it provides.

The problem we’ve come across is a lack of integration with our main church website. So we’re looking at another free solution that works with WordPress (we’re actually moving from Joomla to BuddyPress to provide a social network for the church). The plugin church_admin provides a full church database solution which is integrated with WordPress user accounts where needed. It also provides for groups, ministries, attendance tracking, rotas and more besides, though lacks the custom reporting capabilities of Jethro, has more limited Pastoral note keeping, and doesn’t include online service planning. But it’s email and SMS communication capabilities are slightly easier to work with. Read more here … https://wordpress.org/plugins/church-admin/ and here: http://www.churchadminplugin.com/

So, there’s no need to pay huge amounts if you have a little technical know-how!

Comment by Zach Allen on

Churchetto is free and open source, too! There are no maximum user limits, and it doesn’t have a premium/paid version. It’s 100% free no matter the size of your church.

Comment by Don Fulano on

Maybe pointing out the obvious here, but the only truly FREE solution mentioned in the article is ChurchInfo. The rest are more like try-before-you-buy versions, at least if you plan on any growth. I am very thankful for the comments however, because 2 programs mentioned look like they have great potential: RockRMS can be installed on a shared hosting server, and OneBody also looks great once you sort out the method that you will use to host it. Thanks, everybody!

Avatar

Comment by JP Medved on

Hi Woody,

We can definitely help, and actually help you filter through options for free:

https://www.capterra.com/church-management-software

Comment by Woody Hoffmann on

Small church looking for web based directory. Can you help? Thanks!

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Comment by Pete Sciacchetano on

– Correction – “Excellerate Church Management” actually offers BOTH Installed or Cloud solutions so you choose what works best for your church!

Comment by Josh Jacobs on

GoTech looks great, but it is not free. The cheapest option is $50/month.

Comment by Rochelle Robinson on

I have been using “Easy Church Membership” for about 3 years. Absolutely free software by rcl software. http://www.rclsoftware.com

Comment by Stella Price on

I’m looking for a free download for a church directory. Where can I find one?

Avatar

Comment by Seth McGuinness on

RockRMS – http://www.rockrms.com is coming up to be an awesome tool.

Not affiliated with them, but definitely wanted to point it out as an option.

Comment by Stella Pike on

Hi Leah,

Thanks for sharing, I was digging around to find some low cost but efficient church software, do you have any idea about this company http://www.easychurchtools.com/church-management-software/pricing/, they are really cheap but my main concern is performance, user friendliness and support. Any idea!@

Stella.

Comment by Ben Jacobs on

Hey you should check out a new check in software for churches called GoConnect. GoConnect was built by a small ministry called GoTech Ministries. Our church has been using for over a year and it has drastically helped speed up the flow of check-in and check-out. They even have a really cool teacher roster function that teachers in the classroom can pull up their class roster on their phone or tablet. This allows them to view child info and guardian info (including pictures). It is pretty sweet!

Here is the website for GoConnect: http://www.gotechministries.org/site/m/goconnect.

Avatar

Comment by Tim Morgan on

OneBody by Church.IO is open source and completely free web-based software for churches. While not a full-blown Church Management System, OneBody offers basic people database features alongside its extensive social networking and online directory capabilities.

OneBody supports direct data entry from the web, import/export via CSV, or synchronization with external ChMSs via the desktop “UpdateAgent” application.

The software runs on Ruby on Rails and MySQL, so a dedicated server or virtual private server with a cloud services such as Amazon or DigitalOcean is required, along with some I.T. expertise for setting it up.

Let me know if you have any questions! I can be reached at tim@timmorgan.org. Our website is http://church.io.

Avatar

Comment by Tim Etherington on

ChurchTrac is not web based but also it can’t be installed on a PC that has the 64-bit version of Office 2010 installed. Also, it won’t run on a Mac either. These are a few cons that should get mentioned.

To run ChurchInfo you have to have a server set up with PHP and mySQL installed on it. So you either stand up a server in house or you pay a hosting service. That’s not too easy for smaller churches without an IT staff to get going.

WorkingChurch CahabaWorks are not Mac compatible either.

AgapeWorks price goes up to $149 PER MONTH for the enhance features, some of which are significant such as bulk emails, calendars, small group management, etc.

ChurchEquip seems to be pretty good overall.

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