NAV Dimensions – Global vs. Shortcut Dimensions

Now that we have covered off the basic theory behind NAV Dimensions and you understand the concept of tagging entries with particular attributes, let’s now look at the two types of Dimensions that exist in the system.  These are Global Dimensions and Shortcut Dimensions.

Under the General Ledger Setup on the Dimensions Tab you will find the setups for the 8 Dimensions you wish to display on screen.


As you can see from the image above, the DEPARTMENT and PROJECT Dimension are repeated.  Once under the Global Dimension Codes and then again under the Shortcut Dimension codes.  To understand the significance of this, let’s look at the difference between Global and Shortcut Dimensions.

Global Dimensions:

A Global Dimension is a dimension that can be used anywhere in NAV.  It is used on all reports and will automatically be included on G/L Budgets as a dimension.  The two Global Dimensions you choose to set up in your General Ledger Setup should be the two attributes most important for reporting in your business.

Options for entering/viewing Global Dimensions on screens will be shown throughout the system, whether you are viewing a report, e.g. Trial Balance:


Or entering data on Sales/Purchase Headers:


Shortcut Dimensions:

Shortcut Dimensions are essentially the six other reporting dimensions you wish to set up to analyse the data in your ledgers.  You do not need to set up all of the shortcut dimensions.  You may even want to set them up but not use them until they apply – usually due to other business factors/company structure changes have happened.

Changing Global Dimensions

It is important to remember that if you want to change your Global Dimensions at a later stage, after initial setup and postings, then the system will need to make changes to all entries posted using that Dimension and this could take quite a while.

To change Global Dimensions go to the General Ledger Setup and on the Actions Ribbon click the Change Global Dimensions Button


You will need to choose a dimension that is not set up as one of your Global or Shortcut Dimensions already otherwise you will get the following error:


You will also need to ensure that if you are changing one of your Shortcut Dimensions to now be a Global Dimension, you need to ensure that it is cleared from the G/L Budget Dimension selections before updating your Global Dimensions.



More than 8 Dimensions?

I am often asked, “Can we only have eight dimensions?  We really need an extra one to report on XYZ.”

The reality is that you can actually have an infinite number of Dimensions – not that I would recommend this – with an infinite number of related Dimension Values.

The fact remains though that you will not be able to view these extra Dimension Values on Entry Screens (such as Journals and Sales/Purchase Lines) without development to the system.  You can however set them up as Default Dimensions that will automatically be completed in the background without any user interaction.  I will cover the setting up of Default Dimensions in my next post.  If you are planning to use more than the standard allowed eight Dimensions, then please consider which of the Dimensions will need to be changed on an entry-by-entry basis and which of those will always remain the same and can be set with a default value that the user does not need to edit or even see when entering the transaction.

You will be able to report on these Dimensions using Dimensional Analysis tools which I will also cover in a later post.

I hope this clarifies the differences between Global and Shortcut Dimensions and you will stick around for the next post on Default Dimensions.

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Posted in Dimensions, Global Dimensions, NAV 2013, Navision, Shortcut Dimensions
One comment on “NAV Dimensions – Global vs. Shortcut Dimensions
  1. […] Welcome to the third part of the Dimensions Blogs.  If you have not already done so, please check out Dimensions – The Theory and Global vs. Shortcut Dimensions. […]


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