NetSuite Global Search

We don’t need to start this article with much of an introduction to the global search bar in NetSuite. Provided you have successfully logged in to NetSuite at least once you will have seen this at the top center of your screen.

NetSuites's Global Search bar

There is very little limit to what you can search for using the Global Search Bar in NetSuite but that can be both a blessing and a curse. If you just enter a vendors name in hopes of finding the vendor record you are going to pull up a long list of contacts, files and anything else that includes their name. So how do you narrow down those results? How do you find the vendor if it is inactive? How do you specify exact or not-exact results? There are a few tricks you can learn to really get the most out of the Global Search Bar that will free up that searching time for tasks that really need it.

Global Search Prefixes

The first thing you need to learn is how to refine your search results to only display the record type you are looking for. In the example we touched upon above we were looking for a vendor record. By simply typing the vendors name we will get all records in the system that include that name. In this case we know we are looking for a vendor record so to narrow those results we can add a prefix of the record type followed by a colon. Instead of searching for Joe’s Warehouse we will now be searching vendor:Joe’s Warehouse. To make this even easier you don’t even need to use the full record type name. The minimum number of characters to use is two. That means we can simply search for ve:Joe’s Warehouse.

The following table gives you the abbreviations for some of the most common record types

PrefixRecord Type
cu:Customer
ve:Vendor
em:Employee
pu:Purchase Order
sa:Sales Order
op:Opportunity
co:Contact
se:Saved Search
pa:Report

You will notice there are a couple of exceptions to the rule in this table. When looking for a Saved Search you only need to worry about the Search aspect so it’s se: that you need to use. To really confuse things though a Report is not referred to as a Report in the Global Search. Instead, you need to use pa: for Page.

Searching For Inactive Records

If a record has been made inactive it will no longer show up in the Global Search results. This is for the best otherwise your results list would be even bigger than it already is but sometimes we need to find an inactive record. To do this you can add a + to the end of your search term. Assuming Joe’s Warehouse has been made inactive we would be searching for ve:Joe’s Warehouse+.

Non-Exact Results

When searching for alphanumeric or numeric results the system will normally look for exact matches as standard. Although you normally want to narrow down search results this is an example of where you might want to expand them further. By adding either a prefix or suffix of % to the search term you will bring back other results that include additional characters either before or after respectively. For example, If I search for pu:237 I may not be able to find Purchase Order PU111237. If I amend my search term to pu:%237 however I will now be able to see any Purchase Orders that have 237 proceeded by other characters as well.

Global Search Menu Results

As of NetSuite version 2022.2 there is now an additional feature called Menu Results. This gives you the navigation paths of your Quick Access Bar. If you search for Sales Order, for example, underneath your regular search results there will be an additional box labelled Menu Results. In the Menu Results you will see listed the navigation paths to any pages in your Quick Access Bar that include the term Sales Order.

This feature can be turned on and off via the Set Preferences menu. Navigate to the Analytics tab and check or uncheck the Page Search box.

If you are new to NetSuite then the following video will give you a broader introduction to the NetSuite dashboard including the Global Search Bar, Quick Access Bar and some of it’s other key features.



The global search will help you access records and data more effectively. To present the data in a useful way you can look at the following articles –

NetSuite’s KPI Scorecards

Creating a Custom KPI in NetSuite

NetSuite Dashboard Shortcuts

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