Where’s the Action? – (Alt+Q) Action Search in D365

Hotkey Highlight – Alt+Q

We’ve previously covered Navigation search (Ctrl+/) as a way to quickly find and access different forms across D365. Action search is a way to quickly find and access different menu buttons within a single D365 form. This can be particularly helpful if the user is looking for a menu item button, but unsure which tab it is located on.


The Action Pane

Let’s start by quickly reviewing the elements of the action pane (the area at the top of a D365 form). The action pane contains menu buttons, organized into tabs, and groups.

Action search can be activated by clicking the magnifying glass next to the options tab, or pressing Alt+Q.


Action Search (in Action)

Typing in action search returns similarly named menu buttons. The returned results display the menu button name, as well as its associated tab and group. This works for menu buttons across all tabs on the form. If buttons are hidden through a personalization or saved view, they will also be hidden in the action search results.


Room for Search Optimization

Action search is handy functionality for users searching for a button, but unsure of it’s location in the action pane. However, the ordering of the search results can still be improved. In the screenshot below, you can see that the top action search result for “hour journal” does return the button for creating an hour journal (the hour button in the journal group), but instead the top results are taken by hour costprice and hour salesprice. I am hopeful that the action search and navigation search results will improve in future releases.


Want to share this action-packed post on social media? Go ahead, make my day.

Additional reading
Action Search
Navigation Search
100 Best Action Movies Of All Time

D365 Platform Update 33 Preview: It Publishes Default Saved Views?

The preview release of Platform update 33 for Finance and Operations is now available (general availability is scheduled for March). This is part of a series highlighting features in the new platform update.


Published Views!!!

A quick refresher: saved views enable users to save sets of personalizations on a given form. Forms have a standard “classic” view. When personalizations are made, an asterisk identifies that the classic view has changed, providing the user with the option to save the new view.

In manage my views, users have the option of reordering, renaming, and setting the desired default from their personally available views. Additionally, the publish button in manage my views allows users to share their views with the larger organization by role and legal entity.

(The ability to publish views is limited to system administrators and those with the “Saved views administrator” role)


Publish as Default View

Platform Update 33 extends the publish view functionality, the publish as default view toggle enables a published view to be the first view a user sees when accessing a form – instead of the form opening in “Classic view” and the user having to select the desired view or configure the default individually.

In the example below, I have a “Simple view” for the project form where infrequently used buttons and fields are hidden. I would rather users be direct here first, with the option to view the full “Classic view” information if necessary, so I have published the “Simple view” as the default.


Managing Published Views

All views are visible in the personalization form. Clicking the publish button on a published, unpublished, or personal view allows management of access and presentation of the view.


I would be grateful if you take a screenshot of this post and share it on social media. You’ll be publishing a view – saved from my published, saved view on saved view publishing.

One can only hope that will lead to more views.

Additional Reading
What’s New Platform Update 33
Saved Views
Saved View Feature Details

D365 Platform Update 33 Preview: It Does The Math!

The preview release of Platform update 33 for Finance and Operations is now available (general availability is scheduled for March). This is part of a series highlighting features in the new platform update.


It Does The Math!!!

The ability to calculate inside of cells (instead of on external calculators) was a handy feature in AX2012 that we were sad to lose in the great D365 migration to the cloud.

Well put your 10-keys back in your deskdrawers because D365 does the math again!

When entering data into numeric cells, start your entry with the equals sign (=) and let D365 handle the rest.

1+1 = 2

(2×3) + (4×5) = 26


It Even Does The Advanced Math!!!

Dynamics recognizes pi, e, factorials, logarithms and trig functions. A complete list of the supported math expressions can be found here.

5! (5x4x3x2x1) = 120

Cos(pi) + ln(e) = 2


The supported math expressions don’t include imaginary numbers (remember i ?). Fortunately, accountants have been handling imaginary numbers on their own for centuries.

additional reading
What’s New Platform Update 33
Grid Capabilities
Supported Math Symbols

Hotkey Highlight – Win+H

Cortana Dictation – Win+H

This shortcut is admittedly more style than substance, but…

If you are using a PC with Windows 10, you can use Cortana’s speech recognition to dictate instead of type your D365 inputs. More information on how to set up speech recognition in Windows 10 is available here.

  • Win+H will activate the speech recognition bar visible at the top of the screen.
  • Saying “Stop dictation” will remove you from dictation mode.

Cortana Dictation Power User Tip

The Win+H shortcut can be used in conjunction with the Ctrl+/ Navigation Search shortcut to access any D365 form or workspace with minimal keyboard entry. It can also be used with the Ctrl+F Browser Search shortcut to quickly identify objects on a given page.

Demonstration

Hotkey Highlights (and Happy Holidays) – Tips for Efficient Journal Entry

Not sure what to get that special D365 accountant in your life? Waited till the last minute and now you don’t have time to buy a gift? Show your appreciation by passing along this list of journal entry tips. Better yet, send a link to our whole series on shortcuts.

#D365Blogs: the gifts that keeps on giving – even during the holidays.

These example screenshots will be from the general ledger journal form, but are applicable across journal types in D365.

Alt+N – Create a new journal

Alt+N can create a new journal header, and also create new journal lines once the journal lines are opened.

Alt+Down – Open dropdown to select journal name

Once the new journal is created, Alt and the down arrow can be used to open the Journal name dropdown. From there, the up/down arrows can be used to toggle between available journal names and Enter can be used to select the highlighted journal name.

Tab / Shift+Tab – Toggle cell selection Right / Left

Similar to Excel, Tab and Shift+Tab can be used to move the cell selection right and left. The allows a user to update the description field without using the mouse for selection.

Using Shift+Tab, the user can move the selection to the left so that the journal batch number is highlighted. Pressing enter while the journal batch number is highlighted will have the same effect as clicking the link, allowing the user to open the journal lines without clicking their mouse.

Once inside the journal lines, Tab can be used to move horizontally across the cells. Through Personalizations, users can control which of these cells are included or skipped when tabbing.

Selecting Accounts and Financial Dimensions

Keep in mind when selecting accounts and financial dimensions that the field acts as a “begins with” filter on both the Value and the Description fields.

An asterisk can be used as a wildcard search character to override the “begins with” filter. In the example above, “*recei” can be used as a search to return all accounts containing the word “Receivables”

Alt+Shift + Right/Left – Toggle Tabs Right/Left

When it is necessary to update more values that simply what is on the list page, Alt+Shift+ the right and left arrow keys can be used to toggle across the journal’s tabs.

Alt+Delete – Delete

Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why there’s a delete button on the journal lines and header. Alt+Delete can erase that mistake without even the shake of a mouse.

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“Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

Hotkey Highlight – Ctrl+Shift+E

Export to Excel – Ctrl+Shift+E

While some D365 data has Open in Excel functionality, allowing users to interact with the data through the Excel Data Connector add-in, every list page in D365 can be exported to excel, creating a static download of the data.

Ctrl+Shift+E gets you that excel export in fewer clicks. As a bonus, this shortcut places the selection on the Download button in the following screen, so you can use the Enter button to execute the download.

Ctrl+Shift+E…Enter for a mouse-free excel export of your data.

Export Selected Rows

Only want to export a few selected rows to Excel? Check the desired rows prior to clicking Export to Excel and only those rows will be included in your data.

Export to Excel Power User Tip

The D365 platform now supports exporting up to one million rows of data to excel. With this great power, exercise great responsibility.

Export progress dialog

Need to export more than a million rows? You should probably look into using a different tool. Excel itself can only handle 1,048,576 rows🙂

Hotkey Highlight – Ctrl+Shift+P

Enter Personalization Mode – Ctrl+Shift+P

On any D365 screen, you can you can enter personalization mode though right-click, select personalize, and then selecting personalize this form. If the options tab is visible, you can also click “Personalize this form” in the Personalize group.

Ctrl+Shift+P is simply a faster way to access the Personalization mode. This can be especially useful when making personalization adjustments for saved views.

Personalization Power User Tips

D365 actually has a full suite of Personalization shortcuts. If you use personalizations frequently, it could be highly beneficial to become acquainted with these. One of my favorite personalization hotkeys is when trying to move the position of a column, I find it much easier to use the arrow keys to move and enter button to set the column than to attempt the adjustment by dragging it with the mouse.

Confirm these shortcuts through the link, as I think this is an experience that will continue to improve.

Hotkey Highlight – Ctrl+/

Navigation Search – Ctrl+/

Ctrl+/ is the hotkey to enter the D365 navigation search located at the top of the page (This used to be the magnifying glass to the right of the legal entity, but in a recent design change the box is not top-center).

The navigation search is helpful if you know the exact name of the form you are looking for. The search functionality here still has room for improvement, so when I’m uncertain about the exact name of the menu item I’m looking for, I tend to favor using browser search (Ctrl+F) to open the desired module and search for the desired menu item.

Navigation Search Power User Tip

The navigation search matches based on the initial letters of each word typed.

Instead of typing “project invoice proposals” to return the Project invoice proposals form, the value “pro inv pro” is sufficent to return the same result. Typing “p i pr” would be an even more efficient way to return this result.

With some experimenting, you should discover a series of truncated search phrases to use in combination with Ctrl+/ that will resolve to your commonly used forms. Your own personal hotkeys!

Hotkey Highlights – Introduction

View Shortcuts

On any D365 form, users have the ability to right-click and “View shortcuts”. This brings up a display of all the shortcuts available for that given form, as well as a link to the full list of D365 Keyboard shortcuts.

It’s faster to navigate computer systems with a keyboard than with a mouse. But while the point-and-click of a mouse is intuitive, keyboard navigation has to be memorized and internalized.

I’ve heard stories of managers ripping out the mouses of new investment bankers, forcing them to learn model building completely through excel hotkeys. But there’s no need to boil the ocean. Picking up a tip here and there can, like compounding interest, lead to significant improvement in the user experience over time. Also like compounding interest, we probably underestimate the cumulative value of all these small improvements.

With that in mind, I’m starting Hotkey Highlights* a series of blog posts on simple keyboard tricks that can improve the D365 navigation experience. I hope you enjoy! Subscribe if that’s content you’re interested in – and let me know you have any favorite navigation tips of your own.


*After some research, I realize that “hotkeys” are actually a very specific type of keyboard shortcut, and most of these shortcut tips will not in fact be “hotkeys” in that sense. I briefly considered renaming this series “Shortcut Showcase”, but after some soul-searching decided I did not love that alliteration as much. If this technicality somehow offends you, feel free to reach out and I will happily refund your blog subscription.

Saved Views

One of the preview features I’m most excited about in Platform update 29 is saved views.

Saved Views – What are they?

In D365, personalizations enable users to Hide, Add, or Move fields on a given form. A Saved View can best be thought of as a set of personalizations, and saved views allow users to toggle between multiple sets of personalizations.

New users of D365 are frequently overwhelmed by the volume of fields and buttons available on every form. Saved views provide a way for users to pare the number of fields displayed in their day-to-day tasks, while still giving them access to the extra functionality should the need arise.

Saved Views – How are they enabled?

As a preview feature, there is a line of SQL code needs to be run to enable their flighting. More information can be found here:

Saved Views – How do they work?

When enabled, all forms now start in a standard “Classic view”:

If a form is modified through a personalization, the Classic view gains a Barry-Bonds-like asterisk. The asterisk indicate the form has been enhanced:

By clicking on the view button, the user now has the ability to save this as a new view:

The user can now name this new view, as well as decide whether to make this the default view every time the form is accessed.

Clicking the view button, this new view is now a new option the user can select for how the form is presented. The user always has the option of clicking back to the Classic view to see the standard presentation of the form.

That’s Great! What Else?

Saved views can be used for personalizations (adding, moving, hiding fields). Saved views can also be used for the sorting/filtering of columns. This is a huge extension of the form personalization capabilities.

Additionally, saved views can be published and shared at the role level bringing the management of personalizations much more in light with security management. I’d like to do another post on the sharing of views, as well as a video digging deeper into applications for shared views, but those will have to wait for another day.