Push or Pull; It’s Your Choice

By now almost all users of Dynamics NAV are aware that NAV is integrated with Microsoft Excel. It has been this way for a while and with the newest release of 2013, or if you prefer NAV 7, this is even more true. There are more reports that can be sent to Excel and nearly every list page can push data out to Excel as well. But what if you had the need for users to be in an Excel worksheet and pull the data from NAV by using lookup list?  What if you required the user to input a certain value in an Excel field but needed NAV data validation when doing so?

Below is an easy “How-to” article to create endless Excel worksheets, using valid data from NAV tables.

Some simple but useful examples of worksheets that can be created using this information would be time entry, contact cross reference, and employee benefit tracking.

NAV into EXCEL

 

Neat little NAV tricks

If you use the NAV Classic Client, you’ve probably noticed that you can close an open window simply by hitting the Escape key instead of clicking the X icon. But did you know that you could very easily disable that?

In the Classic Client, go to Tools > Options, and change the value of Close Forms on Esc to No.

While you’re in the Options window, take a look at some other options that you can easily change to affect NAV behavior. Here are couple that may interest even the novice user:

  • Status Bar: Hide the Status Bar that appears at the bottom of the Classic Client by setting it to No (the client will need to be restarted before this takes effect)
  • Max. no. of XML records to send: The default value is set to 5,000. This is the maximum number of records that can be sent to Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word from NAV using the built-in Send-to functionality in the NAV Toolbar. This can be changed as needed. Changing this value only affects the Classic Client; to read how this can be changed for the RoleTailored Client in NAV 2009 R2, read this blog post from the MSDN NAV Blog:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nav/archive/2011/11/22/manage-max-no-of-xml-records-to-send-option-from-role-tailored-client-with-net-interop.aspx

But wait, there’s more!

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NAV Keyboard Shortcuts (Classic Client and RTC)

While I like using my mouse to perform actions in NAV when I’m doing a sales demo or helping a client, sometimes it’s so much more convenient to just use shortcut keys instead – at least for functions or actions that I use most frequently.

If you’ve been using NAV for many years, you are probably familiar with at least some of these popular shortcut keys (if not all): F3 for Insert New, F4 for Delete, F11 for Post, etc.

And what a surprise it must have been when you used the NAV 2009 RoleTailored Client (RTC) for the first time: you hit F4 on a Sales Order Line only to find out it shows a drop-down list (or does nothing, depending on the active field in the Line) instead of deleting the line.

I’ve been using RTC for almost two years now (and all but one of our clients use RTC), and I still get the new shortcut keys mixed up; but I know almost all of the old shortcuts by heart! The good news is, Microsoft has a fantastic cheat-sheet in PDF format with all the keyboard shortcuts for both the Classic and RoleTailored Clients.

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Active Window Tracking and other Navigation Pane Options in the Classic Client

There are still a lot of users out there who are on older versions of NAV or using the Classic Client in NAV 2009. If you are among this group, then today’s tip is for you!**

If you’ve noticed, by default the NAV Classic Client tracks all of your active windows. So as you move between windows inside the Client, NAV will select the corresponding menu item in the Navigation Pane.

If you’re still not sure you understand what this means, try this:

  1. Navigate to the Financial Management menu, expand the Receivables group, and click on Customers. A Customer card window will open.
  2. Now, navigate to the Sales & Marketing menu, expand the History group, and click on Posted Invoices to open a Posted Sales Invoice window.
  3. Similarly, navigate to the Purchase menu, expand the Order Processing group, and click on Vendors.

Now you have three open windows – Customer Card, Posted Sales Invoice, and Vendor Card. If you notice the Navigation Pane on the left, you will see the active / selected navigation pane menu is Purchase, and the Vendors menu item is highlighted. This is because it was the last item that you clicked on.

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