Finding Pages and Information with Tell Me

This article describes how the in-product search, Tell me what you want to do, can help you:

  • Quickly go to things like actions, pages, or reports.
  • Search for specific data, either on a list page or in all of Business Central.
  • Find Business Central documentation about a subject you're interested in.

When you need help to find something, use the Tell me what you want to do. Search icon to search for it. You can also use ALT+Q to start a search.

When you start typing characters on the Tell me what you want to do page, Business Central immediately displays matches. Results in the list change as you type more characters. If you notice that when you enter the word product and the results include items, that's because search uses synonyms and alternate search terms to make it easier to find actions, pages, and reports.

The column to the right indicates the general category of the result. For example, whether it will open a list page or is an administrative task.

At the bottom of the Tell me what you want to do page, the exploring pages and reports action opens a feature overview that shows you all available features for your role or for all roles. Learn more at Finding Pages with the Role Explorer.


If you prefer to use your keyboard, use the Tab key and Arrow keys to choose an item in the results. If you select the Enter key on your keyboard without choosing a result, Business Central opens the result that is listed first.

The Tell me what you want to do page categorizes results based on the data that you enter and the page you're working on. The following sections describe the categories.

Find an action on the current page

The On current page section lets you find actions on the page you have open. For example, if the Sales Quote page is open and you type "customer," the section includes an action that opens the Customer Card page for the customer chosen on the sales quote.


The list includes only actions that are available on the navigation bar at the top of the page. Actions on FastTabs aren't included.

Find a page or a task

The results in the Go to Pages and Tasks section provide access to other pages and let you perform tasks or look up information. If you use these pages often, you can choose the bookmark icon to add a link to any page onto your Role Center. For more information, go to Add a Page Action to Your Role Center.

The pages and tasks that are listed depend on the user experience you chose for your company. The Essential experience gives access to fewer pages and tasks than the Premium experience does. The first time you sign in, you use the Essential experience. To learn more about user experiences, go to Customizing Your Business Central Experience.

Find a report or archived information

The Go to Reports and Analysis section offers access to reporting tools. For example, you can open the Balance Sheet report from the list, or access archived documents and other information.

Find a record or search the documentation

The Search for <keyword> section Business Central offers a couple of ways to search:

  • Use the Search company data action to search all pages in Business Central.

  • Use the Search Help action to find an article in the Business Central documentation that contains your keyword.


    Your search results won't include documentation for third-party extensions.

Use Tell me what you want to do

Use the Tell me what you want to do. Search icon to search for data across Business Central. For example, you can find a customer by entering their name or address, or even find a specific record, such as a sales order. You can also use it to find information in our documentation.

Just enter at least three characters of a keyword, and then choose either Search company data or Search Help.

  • If you search for data, results display on the Search in company data page, where they're sorted by type.
  • If you search in our Help, the Help pane offers links to articles that contain your keywords. You'll also get a snippet from the article that can help you decide whether it's what you're interested in.


For data, searching everything in Business Central might take time. To speed up results, use the Show tables to search action to choose the tables and fields that you want to include in your searches. The tables and fields that you can choose from vary, depending on your Role Center. By default, all tables and fields are chosen, which can slow down the search. We recommend that you exclude as many tables and fields as you can.

After you enter your keywords, Business Central starts your search in the background and goes through each table one at a time. Search results begin to appear after it finished each table. If you enter more than one keyword, the results will include only records that have all of the words in any of the selected fields.

The results page shows the three most recently updated records. If there are more than three, you can choose Show all results to display them.

Each time you choose a search result you increase the popularity of the table, and it will appear higher in the results. Additionally, the record will be found more quickly if you search for it in the future.


Headers on sales, purchase, and service documents actually represent different document types, such as quotes, invoices, and orders. Headers are treated as if they were tables. If your keyword was found in a line on one of these documents, when you choose the search result the page for the document displays, and not just the line.

Get more functionality from apps

Our partner community is busily developing apps that add capabilities to Business Central. The Get from Microsoft AppSource section lists apps for Business Central that are available on Microsoft AppSource and are related to the keyword you searched for.

Use Search on list pages

It isn't related to Tell me what you want to do, but there's another way to search for specific data. When you're using a list page, you can use the Search list Search field in the left corner of list page headers to search for data on the page. The search applies only to the list you're viewing. To learn more about working with data on list pages, go to Sorting, Searching, and Filtering Lists.


You can search for posted document lines, such as invoice lines, credit memo lines, shipment lines, and receipt lines. Search for the type of document lines that you want to find, and then bookmark the links to the documents on your home page for easy access to the original or a filtered view. Learn more at Add a Page Action to Your Role Center.


We've shown search to a range of stakeholders, noted the questions that they had in common, and turned our notes into a list of frequently asked questions. If you're interested, go to Tell Me FAQ.

See also

Work with Business Central
Add a Page Action to Your Role Center
Save and Personalize List Views

Find free e-learning modules for Business Central here