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5 Dynamics NAV Tips for Productivity: 2015 Edition

Dynamics NAV 2015 is the most user-friendly version of NAV to ever exist. With that in mind, all it takes is a few pointers to uncover ways to drive productivity in your day-to-day life with Navision.

Whether it’s related to easier reporting, faster and more seamless navigation, or improved workflows, here are 5 of my favourite Dynamics NAV tips to make your user experience that much sweeter.

Dynamics NAV Tips for Productivity

1. Use the Report Scheduler

As Dynamics NAV users will already know, reports can be very large depending on the number of transactions, customers, or vendors included. Waiting for a report to run can be fairly disruptive when you are also trying to get other tasks done throughout the day.

Dynamics NAV 2015 addresses this issue by allowing users to schedule reports to run at non-operating times.

Users define which reports they would like to add to the Job Queue, when the reports should be scheduled, and how often they will occur. Once the job queue runs, they will appear in a user’s Report Inbox in the Role Centre, as seen below:

Preview of Report Inbox in Role Center NAV 2015

Refer to this post for how to set up the report scheduler in NAV 2015.

2. Customize the Nav Pane and Ribbon for Quick Access to Frequently Used Items

Customize the Dynamics NAV 2015 navigation pane

NAV Pane

If you’re a long-time user of NAV, you may miss the days where shortcuts were part of the system. For those with this longing, there is an alternative. By modifying the navigation pane, you will be able to quickly and easily access the list pages you use most frequently and surface them right in your Role Center.

To modify your lists in the NAV pane, refer to this post for a full guide.

NAV Ribbon

Just like the above suggests, being able to quickly access your regular stomping grounds in NAV will make your whole experience a bit more seamless.

Do you run a certain report daily? Add it to the ribbon in your Role Center so you don’t have to dig through NAV each day to find it.  You can learn how to set this up here.

customize the ribbon in NAV

3. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Perhaps some of the quickest wins when it comes to Dynamics NAV tips are hotkeys. In fact, the biggest tell of a seasoned NAV veteran is how many shortcuts they know and use to speed up their productivity. There’s a particularly extensive subset of date shortcuts, so we’ll split that out under it’s own heading, but some of the most-used ones are below.

Application Shortcuts

  • F8 – when entering data, using the F8 key will copy down the line above it
Dynamics NAV Tips Keyboard Shortcuts

Tab / Enter / Shift-Tab – when cycling through fields on a card, the Tab key will go to each and every field, whereas the Enter key will only go through the Quick Entry fields (you can toggle these using the Customize This Page… setup) and the Shift-Tab will go to the previous field;

Dynamics NAV Keyboard Shortcut Tab / Enter / Shift-Tab

Ctrl-Home, Ctrl-End, Shift-Ctrl-End – very useful list functions here – Ctrl-Home takes you to the top of a list and Ctrl-End takes you to the end. Shift-Ctrl-End will highlight (or select) all records after the one you’re on! So pressing Ctrl-Home and then Shift-Ctrl-End will select the entire list!

Dynamics NAV Shortcut select entire list

Ctrl-Shift-A – this shortcut clears all filters you have on a page;

Dynamics NAV Shortcut clear filters on page

Data Shortcuts

If one thing is for sure, it’s that accountants are as much about Dates as they are about Dollars – timing is everything in our world. Below are some shortcuts to help you deal with your dates. For all these fields, you should be in a Date or Date Filter field:

  • W – when used, this key will populate the field with the Working Date of NAV;
  • T – when used it will put in today’s (hence the “T”) system date;
  • Days of the week – for the work week of Monday – Sunday, the following date shortcuts exist:
    • M – Monday
    • Tu – Tuesday
    • We – Wednesday
    • Th – Thursday
    • F – Friday

Stay tuned for a future post on all of our favourite Dynamics NAV shortcuts.

4. Take Better Notes and Create Follow Up Tasks Using OneNote

As of NAV 2013, Microsoft included a OneNote integration in the ribbon for virtually any record in NAV. As long as you have OneNote and are on 2013 or later, you can take advantage of this integration (which is very easy to set up).

Using OneNote not only allows you to enhance NAV’s less-than-stellar Notes and Comments functionality, but it also helps make these notes actionable by allowing you to create follow-up tasks in Outlook, like below.

Outlook task in OneNote

5. Perform Mass Updates Using Configuration Package

Most new NAV clients are only ever exposed to the Configuration Packages in the context of “RapidStart” templates – the quick but powerful way of loading beginning balances, subledger data, customers, vendors, etc. into the system during the implementation process.

The truth is that the Configuration Packages functionality is still powerful long after you’ve implemented NAV. It’s a fast, stable, and robust mechanism for both mass-updating data in NAV and also for extracting information.

It’s as simple as pointing to the table you want to extract/update:

Dynamics NAV Configuration Package Card

Selecting the fields you want to include:

Select Dynamics NAV Fields to include in Configuration Package

Including any relevant filters (e.g. for extracting specific customers/vendors):

Navision Configuration Package Filters

And then exporting to Excel:

Dynamics NAV export to excel

And there you have a data extract:

Dynamics NAV data extract example

And you can make any necessary changes/tweaks and re-upload the spreadsheet into NAV for mass-updating records:

Import Dynamics NAV records for mass update

An example of a mass-update could be if you get a new Price List from a supplier – let’s say you want to mass-update all that supplier’s items.

Simple – pick the Item table, put a filter for that supplier’s Vendor No., include the Item No., Item Name, and Last Direct Cost fields, export to Excel, make your changes, reimport the updated sheet into Excel. And Bob’s your up-to-speed-with-the-latest-price-list-information uncle.

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