SAP Materials Management Tip: Use the toolbar to find data in lists

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

28Tip on using the toolbar to find data in lists by Matt Johnson, author of The SAP Material Master – a Practical Guide.

If you are in a high-volume production environment, your SAP reports can generate extremely long lists of data. While creating customized layouts can help to reduce the unnecessary information shown, they cannot help you to locate specific information within your report output. Fortunately, SAP offers several tools to assist you in refining your data output, located in the toolbar of your reporting screens (see Figure 1.9).

Figure 1.9: Reporting screen toolbar

When selected, each icon in the toolbar allows you to perform a refinement on a given cell, row, or column of data in the report. In order to use an option from the toolbar, you must select the set of data you are interested and then click on the desired tool. In the example below, I want to filter the report by ORDER TYPE. I do this by first clicking on the column’s header (see Figure 1.10) and then click on the filter tool to enter my intended filter selection.

Figure 1.10: Selecting a column

It should be noted that each report’s toolbar can contain different tools, depending on the nature of the report. The following list provides an explanation of the most common standard tools that are available in your toolbar.

detail iconDetail icon—This tool allows you to see detailed information on a selected cell. For example, if I select a production order in a report and click on the detail icon, I will be presented with a significant amount of informational data regarding the production order that is not part of the report display.

I also find this feature useful when I want to link a financial posting to its related production order in certain financial reports. In these cases, information is displayed according to internal SAP reference document numbers, but no production order information is provided (see Figure 1.11).

Figure 1.11: Reference document
In this example, I am shown the related production order by selecting the reference document cell and clicking on the detail icon (see Figure 1.12 (shown under TEXT in the GROUP DESCRIPTION column).

Figure 1.12: Detail output
sortSort in ascending/descending order icon—Use sort icons to sort any column in ascending or descending order. The selected sort is extended to all columns within the report.

find iconFind icon—This is exactly what it sounds like, just as you might use the Control + F function on your keyboard to find something in a Microsoft application, you can use this icon to find a value in your report.
Find trick—Use an asterisk to help search for unfamiliar items

Sometimes when you are looking for specific data in a report, you only know a small piece of the information you are looking for. In this case you can simply insert as much as you know about the item and include an asterisk where that information leaves off. This will allow you to display all data that contains the known piece of information. For example, I may be looking for a particular material number in a report, but from memory I only know that the material number begins with RTR. To help me locate the material number I can enter RTR* into the find tool and all materials that begin with RTR will be displayed.

filter iconSet filter icon—This tool allows you to filter lists down per your selection criteria. In an earlier example above (see Figure 1.10), I was able to filter my report to show only those production orders with Order Type ZP12.
sum iconTotal icon—By selecting any column containing numerical data and clicking this icon you will be presented with the numerical total of all field values at the bottom of the column.

print iconPrint icon—Selecting this tool will print the entire report output or page selections to the output device of your choice.
export iconExport icon—I find this tool to be one of the most useful. By selecting this icon I can export the entire report output to Microsoft Excel. This lends itself to manipulating the report in ways that you simply cannot within SAP. I like this method when I want to merge several SAP reports, or SAP reports with external, non-SAP data. Once you export the report output to Excel, your analysis is only limited by your imagination.
Reporting list trick—copy and pasting
It is often useful to copy values, such as material numbers, from a field in one SAP list to paste into a field in another SAP transaction or any other destination. However, you will notice that you can only highlight one field at a time with your mouse. Many times, you may want to copy several fields from a list at one time. This can be resolved by pressing Control+Y on your keyboard. Once you have pressed Control+Y you will be able to select multiple adjacent rows and columns within a SAP list to copy and paste wherever you desire.