(reading time < 10 minutes)
The finder is useful during data entry and it can also be very helpful for researching transactions. Here are some tips to get the most out of this great tool.
F5 – Everyone knows you can click the finder button (the magnifying glass button) next to a field to open its finder. You can also open the finder for the you are currently on with the F5 function key. If the field has a value in it, the finder list will open to the closest matching value. So if you know your item number starts with STR you can enter this before opening the finder to immediately get to this part of the list.
Find By – You can search using any column shown in the finder. Use the Find By drop down to select the column. Depending upon the column you choose you can either do a “Starts with” or a “Contains” search, or you can select an operator. Then enter the value you are searching for in the Filter box.
Go to Filter First – In conjunction with the F5 key this is probably the greatest time saver for data entry. By default, when you open a finder the cursor is in the grid. If you want to search for a value, you have to click on the filter box each time to enter a value. With the Go to Filter First setting, the cursor is in the filter box when you open the finder ready for your search. Use the Tab key to get from the filter box to the grid.
Enter – Once you have found the record you want there are three ways to select it. You can click the Select button, you can double-click on the record (any column), or you can simply press the Enter key.
Auto Search – when this is checked the finder will begin searching for records when you have paused for a couple of seconds. Depending on which field you are searching, the number of records in your database and network conditions the search could take a bit to return. If you weren’t ready to search it can be frustrating to wait for it to finish. If you uncheck this box, the finder will not search until you click the Find Now button.
Advanced tip: if you are frequently searching on a field like a description, an address field, or a name and the search takes a long time, ask us about creating an index on this field. It can dramatically improve your searching speed.
Set Criteria – the Find By box only allows you to search one field at a time. Use Set Criteria to search by multiple fields/values.
- Select a column
- Click Add
- Double click in the cell to add a value
Below I’ve added the Order Date to the grid and entered >= 1/1/2016. I double-clicked again on the cell to show the entry screen – this is how to edit the values that have been entered. This will show all orders this year and later.
Next I’ve added Order Type and Ship to State to the criteria. This will return orders (no quotes, future orders or standing orders) this year or later to with a WA shipping state.
By filling in the next row I can have it search in Oregon as well. Note: I do need to repeat the date and order type values. Otherwise I would get orders this year for WA and everything for OR.
- Delete – clears the currently selected column from the grid.
- Save – save the criteria. Until you change or clear the criteria they will be applied whenever you open this finder. If you don’t save it, the criteria will go away when you close the finder.
- Clear – remove a cell, column, row or the entire criteria filter.
- Edit – same thing as double-clicking on the currently selected cell.
- Show Filter – see the criteria translated to its query form. This is a way to double check the filter.
- OK – returns to the finder and applies the filter whether you saved it or not.
- Cancel – returns to finder without applying the filter.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we discuss the columns in the finder and exporting from the finder.