3 Productivity and Troubleshooting Hacks All NAV Users Should Know

In this blog, I am going to reveal some of the most commonly used productivity hacks that all Microsoft Dynamics NAV consultants use when assisting customers. These are simple, but very effective tricks that will demystify some of the work that Dynamics NAV consultants do when troubleshooting errors with clients. After using these 3 productivity hacks, you will be amazed at how quickly you will become the Dynamics NAV guru at your organization.

The 3 productivity hacks that you will learn are:

  1. Copy and Paste to/from Excel
  2. Advanced Filtering
  3. About This Page

To demonstrate these productivity hacks, I will run through an Inventory Adjustment scenario using the Item Journal. Say, for example, that you work at CRONUS Canada as an Inventory Manager; you oversee 6 different warehouses all spread out across North America. You were informed by the BLUE location that due to clerical error, a long list of items’ inventory levels need to be adjusted. You’ve completed entering the list of items in the Item Journal, and you were about to post before you realized that you had forgotten to enter the Location Code!

Technique 1: Copy and Paste to/from Excel

Luckily, before you posted the entries. you noticed that you forgot to assign the location (BLUE) that needed to be posted to the adjustment entries. Say that the list of items is hundreds of records long. It would be a huge ordeal having to manually enter the BLUE location in each line.

To do that in minutes rather than hours, you can take the following steps: (See more about copying and pasting from Excel to Dynamics NAV)

  1. Click the top-left corner of the Item Journal Entries list. That will highlight all Item Journal records.
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  1. Next, right-click into one of the rows. Select: Copy Rows.
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  1. Next, open Excel. Paste the records into Excel.
  1. Update the fields that you want to update each record with. In this scenario, we will enter BLUE in the Location Code column for every item record.
  1. Copy only the rows and columns that you want to re-enter into the Journal line. That means that you will not include the Heading Columns in the copy function.
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  1. Repaste the Excel contents back into the Item Journal. Similar to copying the NAV records, you can also right-click and then select: Paste Rows. Note that this will only work as long as the columns in NAV will align with the column headings in the Excel spreadsheet.
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In a manner of minutes, you will have updated several hundreds of records with the help of Excel. This approach will work with other Journal Entry tables including Sales Order Lines, Purchase Order Lines, Assembly Order Lines, etc.

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In the next section, we will use Advanced Filtering to help us troubleshoot an unexpected error when posting the Item Journal.

Technique 2: Advanced Filtering

Filtering is one of the basic functions that most Dynamics NAV users master early on. However, the Advanced Filtering function is an underused function that usually goes unnoticed because it is sometimes hidden away.

Continuing with the Inventory Adjustment example, we are going to take the next step and post the adjustment entries to the BLUE location. However, we unexpectedly run into an error message: “Gen Product Posting Group must have a value in Item Journal Line: Journal Template Name=ITEM, Journal Batch Name=DEFAULT, Line No.=270000. It cannot be zero of empty.

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This error message is somewhat cryptic and doesn’t explicitly tell you which item record has caused the error. To avoid having to scroll through the Item Journal trying to identify the erroneous item entry, you could use the Advanced Filtering function.

In the Item Journal page, if you click the blue drop-box, next select Customize and then click the Filter Pane option, you will have activated Advanced Filtering in the Item Journal.

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  1. Click the Item Journal in blue text. Next, click the Advanced Filtering option.
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  1. The Advanced Filter function is activated. Click the first filter field and select All to see the full selection of available fields in the Item Journal. This is also helpful because it will allow you to filter on fields that may be hidden on the NAV client such as the Inventory Posting Group

In our example, we will filter on the Gen. Prod. Posting Group field.

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Based on the error message displayed earlier, it tells me that one of the item entries may be missing a Gen. Prod. Posting Group Code. I can quickly filter to it by entering two single apostrophes (‘’) to represent a BLANK value.

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As you can see, I’ve identified 2 item entries that appear to have been erroneously setup. I can dig deeper into the item entry and see if there may be other fields that are missing by viewing the About This Page function.

Technique 3: About This Page

In older versions of NAV, the Zoom function was used to drill into a record to see the list of all available fields. About This Page operates similarly in that it will show you fields that may also be hidden in the NAV client.

  1. Click the blue drop box, select Help, then click About This Page.
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  1. This will open About This Page.
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Scrolling to the Gen. Prod. Posting Group confirms that it is missing the code. Also, you will notice that the Inventory Posting Group field is also missing a code, meaning that this item must have not been setup correctly and this will require further intervention to correct before I can successfully post the Item Journal.

After correcting the two erroneous entries with the help of the 3 tools described above, I was able to successfully post the Item Journal!

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Wrap-up

There you have it, 3 productivity hacks that are widely used by Dynamics NAV consultants, but commonly underutilized by end-users. These productivity hacks are very handy when troubleshooting errors. However, there are many more tricks that are hidden within Dynamics NAV that once discovered, will make you even more productive and self-reliant.

What productivity hacks have you discovered that have helped you in your day-to-day NAV operation?

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