Thursday, June 1, 2023

Business Central Simple Tip #5: Comment Lines, Standard Text Codes, and Extended Text

by Steve Endow

(Thanks to Kristen Hosman for showing me this feature!)

Business Central has a very cool feature that allows you to add text Comments to transaction lines.  I'm excited about it because I don't believe we had an equivalent feature in the Dynamics GP world.

The feature appears to be well designed and implemented in Business Central, but the official MS documentation on the elements of the features are limited, so I don't think the docs to the feature justice.

There are 3 elements to the overall "feature" in Business Central:

1. Comment Line Type

2. Standard Text Codes

3. Extended Text

Comment Lines

When entering a transaction in Business Central, such as a Sales Invoice, the Line "Type" field can be set to "Comment".  You can then manually enter comment text in the line Description field.  This is the simplest option for ad-hoc comment lines, but the Description field is limited to 100 characters, so if you need more than 100 characters, you would need to add multiple Comment lines.

Comment Line Type

Standard Text Codes

If you have documents that consistently use standard lines of text, you can use Standard Text Codes.  These codes are pre-defined Comments that you can select from the item No. field on a line. This could be used to consistently add text lines for short messages about service charges, delivery details, supplemental item information, holiday messages, etc.

The Standard Text "Code" can be up to 20 characters, and the Description value is still limited to 100 characters.

Select Standard Text Code on Comment line

Standard Text Codes

Standard Text Code used on Comment Line

Extended Text

What if you need to regularly add more than 100 characters of comment text, or need to add several standard lines of comment text to a document?

This is where Extended Text comes in.  Extended Text allows you to define one or more lines that are associated with a single Standard Text Code.  When you choose a Standard Text Code, all applicable Extended Text comments will be added as comment lines.

But there's more!

Extended Text objects can be associated with a specific Language Code, can be "effective dated" (start and end date), and you can select which document types the Extended Text will apply to.

THIS IS AWESOME.  The language, effective dates, and document types make Extended Text a really powerful way to save time and add consistent messaging to your documents.

Extended Text menu on Standard Text Codes list

Extended Text configuration options

Extended Text lines added by selecting a single Standard Text Code

Comment lines and Standard Text Codes are handy, but I think that Extended Text offers a more powerful solution for consistent comment lines on documents.

What are some interesting or clever uses of Comments, Standard Text Codes, and Extended Text?

Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP in Los Angeles.  He works with Dynamics 365 Business Central and related technologies.

You can also find him on Twitter and YouTube, or through these links: 

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