NAV AS 101 Lesson 8: Formatting

Formatting options for Microsoft Dynamics NAV are pretty basic, but there are a few tricks you should know to get the most out of what you have. Because very little has changed with formatting options in newer versions I’ll show some basics in NAV 2009 Classic, but highlight some expanded features in NAV2009 RTC and NAV2013 so you know the full range of what you can use.

This is an example showing the row setup, screen view, Excel export, and printed views with no formatting of any type assigned. It’s pretty ugly no matter which way you look at it.

no format

Let’s make this look better by applying some basic formatting options. We’ll bold the total line, underline the line above the total, italicize the second line, and choose show opposite sign on all the revenue lines, including the total line, so our sales are reflected as a positive number instead of as a credit balance. Looking better already, but there are a few things going on that need to be explained.

Underline – Can’t see it on the screen view, appears across the entire page including row descriptions in Excel export, and shows just under the numbers in the printed view.

Italic – Can’t see it on the screen view, but can see it on both the Excel export and printed view.


We can improve on what’s going on with the underline with a few additional options. There is an option in the totaling type column for underline, and after NAV2009 SP1, there is an option for double underline. The screen shots below show the following differences. Notice they don’t make much of a difference at all on the screen view or Excel export versions, and have the largest impact on the printed version. NAV2013 has a new additional checkbox for double underline, but it still behaves the same way, only showing up on the printed version.

B – Just the underline checkbox is checked. If you want the underline situated tightly to your numbers without extra space in the printed view, this is the way to do it.

C – The underline checkbox is checked and the totaling type of underline is selected. This gives a wide double underline in the printed view only.

D – The totaling type of underline is selected. If you want a little bit of space below your numbers before the underline appears in the printed view, this is the way to do it.

E – The totaling type of double underline is selected.


Similar to what we see with the different underline options, the show option also has limited utility. Let’s choose No instead of Yes on the second line of our example and see what we get. As you can see, the show option only hides a line in the printed view. There is actually a show option that is also available in the column layout, but again, it only hides a column in the printed view.


There is one additional formatting option that only exists in the column layout – the rounding factor. Selecting this option, just like show, only allows the changes to go through to the printed version, but if you are using that option you can round to a factor of 1, 1000 or 1000000.


One last option here that I haven’t put together an example for is the New Page option. Use this option if you need to insert a page break anywhere in your report. I’ve seen lots of companies use this to produce a two page balance sheet. I’ve also seen companies build some pretty large multi-page account schedules in one named report and break each page by using this option. I think it is easier to maintain and update short simple reports if at all possible, so I recommend creating a few (or many!) separate account schedules instead of doing this. It’s just too easy to miss something, or at least spend a lot of time looking for, something you need to update in a large multi-page report kept in a single account schedule.

This posting is part of the NAV Account Schedules 101 series.  Find the entire list of lessons here.

Don’t forget to visit the Account Schedule Formulas and Account Schedule Examples pages if you’re looking for even more ideas on how to improve your financial reporting using account schedules with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

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