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Top 4 Global Search Tips for NetSuite

Dec 17, 2018

By Alex Kopischke

A common question we get here at Wipfli is how to better utilize the global search tool in NetSuite. This search feature enables you to find records anywhere in your NetSuite account by simply typing keywords into the search bar at the top-center of the page.

To better understand global search, think of your NetSuite instance as Earth and your modules as continents (e.g., CRM, Advanced Order Management and Inventory Management), all engaged in global commerce inside your account. Global search is a satellite that allows you to quickly look across all of your continents for specific locations (or records).

Just as you can’t instantly build and launch a satellite, customizing your global search is somewhat difficult. However, global search is a user-friendly yet powerful tool for experienced NetSuite users, and knowing how to effectively use it makes all the difference. Below are four tips and tricks we have picked up along the way.

Use Longer Keywords

First, we advise when using global search to use keywords that are at least three characters long. This makes your search more unique, which makes you more likely to return the expected results.

Global Search Prefixes

One of the best ways to focus your search is by using global search prefixes. These are two- to five-letter combinations followed by a colon that restricts the global search to a specific record type. For example, you can type “invo:” into the global search bar, followed by your search string, to search for only invoice numbers containing those characters. A list of our favorite prefixes to use is below:




  Cash Sale










  Expense Report














  Phone Call


  Purchase Order




  Sales Order




  Work Order


The % Wildcard

NetSuite also allows you to further specify your search criteria using some basic SQL operators (for users who have exposure to this syntax). The most helpful SQL operator to the average NetSuite user is likely the “%” wildcard. For example, if you enter “invo:115” into the search bar, global search will return all invoices with “115” as the invoice number. But if you search for “invo:115%” in global search, then it will return all invoices beginning with “115.”

You can use the % wildcard before or after a string to indicate “ends with” or “begins with,” respectively, or surrounding text to search records “containing” a given string (e.g., invo: %123% returns all invoice numbers containing “123”). 

Quotation Marks

This is a pretty short but effective tip: You can use quotations surrounding a search string to search for exact matches only (e.g., invo:“987”), which is very helpful if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Leveraging NetSuite to Its Fullest Capabilities

You also have the ability to customize global search results (if all results are the same record type), add filters and sorting, or export to CSV, but that is another lengthy topic in itself. For now, we hope the four tips above help you with your global searching!

If you have questions about global search or would like to learn more about NetSuite, contact Wipfli.


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Wipfli Editorial Team