This article answers some common questions you might have about searching and filtering in Business Central.
Is there a difference between searching and filtering?
- Search is simple and broad: it matches records that contain the search text across any visible fields on the page, and is case insensitive.
- Filtering is highly flexible and can be applied to specific fields, including those not visible on the page: it displays records with exact, case-sensitive matches, but can be adjusted with powerful search symbols, tokens, and formulas. For more information on how to use these features, see Sorting, Searching, and Filtering.
Exactly which fields are matched when searching?
Business Central applies the search criteria to all fields that are visible on the page. If a field has been hidden, such as by using personalisation, search won't consider this field. Search criteria are applied to fields only if their data type matches that of the search criteria. For example, searching for the term today will search all text and code fields for the literal value "today", and also any date fields where today is evaluated as an expression for the current date, but won't search in any numeric fields. For more information on filter criteria, see Sorting, Searching, and Filtering.
Is there a keyboard experience for search and filter?
Search and filter have been highly optimised for users who prefer mouse-free interaction to work efficiently with their data. There are a variety of shortcut keys that can be used in sequence to work at high speed. For more information see Keyboard Shortcuts.
Is the filter pane available on all lists?
The filter pane is available on pages where the list is the primary content on the page, such as worksheets and list pages, including lists reachable from the navigation bar. The filter pane is not yet available for lists that are displayed as parts, such as FactBoxes or Role Centre parts, or for lists that are shown as dialogues, such as in lookups. When a list is embedded on a page, such as sales lines on a sales order, the filter pane is available when focusing on that list using the focus mode button. For more information, see Focusing on Line Items.
How can I save my filters?
Your filters and adjustments to predefined filters are remembered throughout the session (while you remain signed in), even if you navigate away from the page. You can permanently save filters as a named view of the list by choosing the icon in the filter pane. For more information, see List Views FAQ. Note that, unlike filters, search text is not remembered when you navigate away from a page and is not saved when you save a view.
On report request pages, you can also save filters or use predefined filters. For more information, see Use Saved Settings.
Is this the same as Advanced Filters and Limit Totals in Microsoft Dynamics NAV?
Business Central builds upon these popular features and delivers a modern and highly usable experience for finding and analysing your data. With more keyboard shortcuts and the introduction of search, Business Central surpasses the functionality provided in Dynamics NAV.
Can I search and filter using the companion apps and add-ins for Microsoft 365?
On different display targets, such as mobile devices or in Outlook, you can search in lists but can't filter on individual fields in most cases. In the Business Central app for Microsoft Teams, both search and filter are available on lists.
How do I view how my search terms have been applied to fields in the list?
After entering search terms in the search box, you can view the exact search criteria and which fields they have been applied to by opening the page inspection pane (Ctrl+Alt+F1) and choosing the Page Filters tab.
Can I do anything about the "Searching for rows is taking too long" message?
There is a time-limit on how a long a search operation can take. First, try changing the search criteria and search again. If you are using Business Central on-premises, contact your system administrator, because an administrator can increase the time-limit for searches.
As an on-premises administrator, you increase the time-limit on searches by changing the Search Timeout setting of Business Central server. For more information, see Configuring Business Central Server in the Business Central Developer and IT Pro Help.
Will Microsoft extend the filter pane experience?
At Microsoft, we're constantly listening to feedback from our diverse community of users and acting upon the top community suggestions. If you are interested in extending the filter pane to more form factors and more types of lists, or have a great idea on how to improve it, add an idea or vote for existing ideas at aka.ms/BusinessCentralIdeas.
How do I change the output of the decimal separator key on my numeric keypad?
By default, the output character of the decimal separator is determined by the region setting of Business Central, which you set on the My Settings page. You can temporarily switch it to a period (.) by pressing the 'Alt+Decimal Separator' keys on the keypad. Press 'Alt+Decimal Separator' again to switch back. For more information, see Setting the decimal separator used by numeric keyboards.