Save Time During Data Entry Tasks – Use Keystrokes

I recently spent an agonizing hour with a long-time Sage 100 ERP (the software formerly known as Sage MAS 90) user who had a simple request – how can we make data entry tasks easier. As she moved from field to field on the Purchase Order Entry screen – USING HER MOUSE to activate each field – I immediately knew the answer. Getting her to see the light was a much harder feat.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a “mouse baby”. I learned how to use a PC by playing Solitaire and Mine Sweeper. I spent countless evenings teaching senior citizens in community centers how to use the mouse using the same games. But as I’ve worked with Sage 100, and other programs, over the past 15 years, I realized there were quicker, and more comfortable, methods to navigate the on-screen tasks.

Sage 100 ERP is a windows-based program, meaning that it utilizes all of the Microsoft Windows standard keystroke commands, such as those functions that use the CTRL and ALT keys (CTRL – C to copy text, for example). So, to save me future angst and to provide readers with the knowledge to increase their data entry speed, I offer two suggestions:

  1. Use Keystrokes for ease of entry, and
  2. Use the Sage 100 ERP Customizer to remove tab stops from fields you do not utilize on a regular basis.

The Keystrokes part is easy. The “Tab” and “Enter” key can both be used to move from field to field, the only difference being that the “Enter’ key will activate a button when the cursor lands on that button (such as Lookups or “Accept”). Commands such as ALT – A will activate the “Accept” button on any task window, and function keys are invaluable to me when performing data entry (F2 to activate Lookup; F1 to activate the Help menu). You can see the entire list of acceptable keystroke shortcuts in Sage 100 ERP by typing “Keyboard and Button Navigation” in the Help search field. Here are a few of my favorites:

SPACEBAR – Clears or selects a check box or radio button
ESC – Closes the current window. In a grid, pressing the ESC key cancels a cell entry.
HOME – Moves to the first page in a list box. In a grid, pressing the HOME key moves focus to the first cell in a row.
F2 – Displays the Lookup window for the current field.
F5 – Toggles between the primary and secondary grids in data entry screens.
ALT + A – Saves the current record (depresses the Accept button).

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