2.2 Other navigation tips
In this section, I’ll cover various tips for navigating through reports and transactions, including tips on searching, tips on selecting criteria for reports or transactions, and how to copy and paste.
2.2.1 Matchcode search tips
A matchcode search (as discussed in the Fields section) will let you search for available values for the selected field. For example, search for a material number in transaction MM03 by clicking the matchcode search button or by pressing “F4”. In most cases, this will give you a search box where you can enter more search criteria (see Figure 2.37). Here, you can hit the “Enter” key or click the Start Search button to search for all available materials. If you know part of the material number or description you’re searching for, you can use an asterisk * as a wild card, and enter some search criteria in the selection fields.
Maximum number of hits
As shown in Figure 2.37, the last selection is for the maximum number of hits in your search results. This typically defaults to 500, but you can increase or decrease it here. Note that a longer list of search results may take longer to run.
Looking once more at Figure 2.37, you can see a series of tabs across the top. Each of these tabs gives you different search criteria. You can navigate through the tabs by clicking the arrow buttons to scroll left and right, or by clicking the list button to view the full list of available tabs.
Lastly in Figure 2.37, you’ll see the Multiple Selection button . By clicking in a field (such as material description), then clicking this button, you can search multiple strings or ranges in the material description field (see Figure 2.38).
Figure 2.37: Material number search criteria
Figure 2.38: Material description multiple selection box
If you have searched for something, but you then want to revise your search criteria without exiting the search, you can click on the bar with the small down arrow to open up the search selection criteria box (see Figure 2.39).
Figure 2.39: Revise search criteria
2.2.2 Selection criteria for lists and reports
Figure 2.38 shows one way to use a multiple selection option while searching for a material number. Start with transaction FAGLL03 (G/L Account Line Item Display) for the examples in the next section.
Many reports will give you the option on the selection screen to choose a range of options (G/L account numbers in this case). In Figure 2.40, you can see that the G/L account and company code selections show two fields, separated by “to”. This indicates that you can select a full range of accounts or company codes, rather than a single one. Choose the G/L account range of 10000 to 19999 to show information for every G/L account in that range.
Figure 2.40: Select a range of G/L accounts
The next tip for selecting report criteria is Selection Options. Some transactions will have a Selection Options button , but you can also access these options by double clicking on your selection field. In Figure 2.41, you can see the Selection Options window, obtained by double clicking on the G/L account field. This window gives you the option to use relational operators, such as greater than or less than signs, to choose your accounts. When you select one of these operators, it will show on your main selection screen, as shown in Figure 2.42. This selection will show data for every G/L account starting with account 50000.
Figure 2.41: Selection options window
Figure 2.42: Selection options: Greater than or equal to 50000
The Selection Options window also has a button to exclude certain items from your selection criteria. If you click this, then the operators will turn red to indicate that you are excluding that criterion, not including it (see Figure 2.43). In Figure 2.44, you can see a red equal sign, indicating that the selection will exclude everything except the accounts from 50000 to 59999.
Figure 2.43: Selection options: Exclude from selection
Figure 2.44: Selection options: Exclude accounts from 50000 to 59999
Another feature on many selection screens is the multiple selection button . Clicking this button will bring up a multiple selection window (shown in Figure 2.45). This window has tabs to select a list of single values, a list of ranges, or exclude lists of single values or ranges.
Figure 2.45: Multiple selection window for G/L account
Figure 2.46: Buttons in multiple selection window
The row of buttons along the bottom of the window provides some additional selection options and functionality (see Figure 2.46). Here are the functions of each of the buttons:
1. Copy (keyboard shortcut “F8”): Click this button when you’re finished making selections in this window. This will copy your multiple selection criteria to the main selection screen.
2. Check entries (“Enter”): This button will check for any errors in your entries.
3. Define selection options (“F2”): This will bring up the selection options window shown in Figure 2.41. You can also view selection options by clicking the Options pushbutton on a line .
4. Insert line (“Shift” + “F1”): Click this to insert a new line into your selection list.
5. Delete selection row (“Shift”+ “F2”): Click on an unwanted line item in the list, then click this button to delete that line.
6. Delete entire selection (“Shift”+ “F4”): Click this button to delete all of the selection criteria in this window.
7. Help on screen (“Shift”+ “F6”): This button will open a help window with information on using the multiple selection window.
8. Multiple selection (“F6”): Click this to open a search box where you can search for additional selections.
9. Import from text file (“Shift”+ “F11”): This button gives you the option to save a list of items in a text file, then import that file to use as the list of values here.
10. Upload from clipboard (“Shift”+ “F12”): You can copy a list of values from elsewhere (such as a spreadsheet or a report in SAP), then copy it into the list of values here.
11. Cancel (“F12”): Click this button to cancel your multiple selection activity and return to the main selection screen.
Some transactions offer more selection criteria than what you see on the initial selection screen. Here are some ways that you can find additional selection criteria:
- Custom selections (“Ctrl” + “F1”): This button will open up a Free Selection screen. In the G/L example, free selections will let you choose G/L line items by all sorts of criteria available in a financial document. As shown in Figure 2.47, the available fields are shown in a frame on the left side. Double click on the fields you want to select by, and those will show as dynamic selections in the larger frame on the right.
- All selections (“Shift” + “F7”): This button will expand the selection screen to show additional selection criteria. A good example of this is found in transaction S_P99_41000111 (Analyze/Compare Material Cost Estimates). Figure 2.48 shows the initial selection screen, with a few fields available for selection. When you click on the all selections button , it expands the selection screen to show all available fields (as shown in Figure 2.49).
- Choose… (“Ctrl” + “F1”): One example of this button is seen in transaction ME2L (Purchasing Documents per Vendor) and other similar purchasing document list display transactions. Figure 2.50 shows the window where you can choose exactly which types of purchasing documents you want to display.
- Further sel.criteria (“Shift” + “F8”): Figure 2.51 shows this button used in transaction VA05 List of Sales Orders. Clicking this button allows you to view a list of sales orders selected by more criteria not available on the initial selection screen.
Figure 2.47: Free selection screen for FAGLL03
Figure 2.48: Initial selection screen for analyze/compare material cost estimates
Figure 2.49: All selections (expanded) for analyze/compare material cost estimates
Figure 2.50: Choose documents in purchasing document list display
Figure 2.51: Further selection criteria in VA05 list of sales orders
2.2.3 Copy and paste
I touched on copying and pasting values into a selection list in the last section, but now will discuss a few more tips and tricks. As a general rule, copying and pasting in an SAP system works in much the same manner as in other applications: select something, copy it using a keyboard shortcut (“Ctrl” + “C”) or button, and paste it (“Ctrl” + “V”) elsewhere.
In an application like Microsoft Excel, you can click in a cell and drag to capture your selection (or click to select the values from a single cell), then copy. One trick to use in SAP for copying from a report or list display is “Ctrl” + “Y”. Use transaction MB51 (Material Document List) as an example (shown in Figure 2.52).
Figure 2.52: MB51 material document list
If you click on one of the material numbers and copy it, it will actually copy the entire line, rather than just the material. If you want to copy the first 5 material numbers into a list, you can’t click on the first one and drag as you can do in a spreadsheet. Instead, click anywhere in the list, then press “Ctrl” + “Y”. In some lists, this will give you a cross-hatch symbol (like a large plus sign +). In this case, it will simply let you click on a cell and drag to the end of your selection, as shown in Figure 2.53. You can then copy this range and paste it into another list or application.
Figure 2.53: MB51 document list with range selected with Ctrl + Y
Copying in configuration screens
The IMG (implementation guide), or configuration, has some additional options for copying pieces of a configuration. For example, if you are configuring a new company, you can copy and edit an existing company, rather than creating it completely from scratch. You can select a single line to copy (see Figure 2.54), or you can use the select all button or the select block button to select multiple lines to copy. Click the copy button to copy and edit that entry to quickly create a new company.
Figure 2.54: IMG create company configuration: Select entry to copy
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