The use of the shortcut key Ctrl+F is very familiar within all Windows applications. When I look at all released versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX this shortcut had the same functionality in all versions, except for Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0. On a grid we had to use Ctrl+K instead. The shortcut Ctrl+K is still used in AX 2012 and has a slightly different functionality. But what is the exact difference between these shortcuts?


CtrlF03When Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 was released I had mixed feelings. I could not get used to the shortcut key Ctrl+K… What happened? A wonderful new feature “global search” was introduced. This was similar to the data crawler used already within the Enterprise portal. You could setup which tables and fields should be indexed for search results. When you searched e.g. on a name, it showed possible search results from more tables and fields where this value was found. To enable this feature in AX 4.0 they attached the shortcut key Ctrl+F for it. If you wanted to search within the data on a grid you should use Ctrl+K instead. For people familiar with earlier versions, like me, this was very annoying. I still had to deal with other versions as well, so it was very confusing. Luckily Microsoft “repaired” this clumsiness in AX 2009. Note that the data crawler in AX 2012 is replaced by Enterprise search which uses the Microsoft Search Server functionality.

The difference

The shortcut key Ctrl+K is still supported in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Ctrl+F is the shortcut for a functionality called Find… whereas Ctrl+K is linked to Filter by field. When using Ctrl+F or Crtl+K the same search form will popup which assumes the functionality is the same. Now I will explain the difference between the mentioned shortcuts in AX 2012. This also applies to the AX 2009 version.

If you use Ctrl+F it will replace all already applied filters on the form. Ctrl+K instead will append the new search on existing filters. So let’s take the next example:

In the Main accounts list page we want to search first on the field Main account type for records with the value ‘Asset’. We can use both shortcuts; the first filter does not make any difference.


If we then select the field Main account and use Ctrl+F for the search the next dialog will be shown. We will filter for all records having a value starting with ’13’.


The next picture shows the result. The filter on Main account type has been replaced by the new filter on the field Main account. Also records with Main account type ‘Balance sheet’ and ‘Total’ are found.


Now remove the filters (shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+F3) and apply the filter on the field Main account type again. Select the Main account field and use Ctrl+K for the second search. One difference is that the current value of the selected record is now defaulted as search suggestion. You can change it to search on ’13*’ again.


When you have applied this filter now, you will see that still only records with Main account type ‘Asset’ are displayed.


When you open the Advanced Filter/Sort form (shortcut: Ctrl+F3), you will notice that now both filters are applied on the list page.


So if you want to search within an already filtered result set and add new filters, you can use the Filter by field function with the shortcut Ctrl+K. Where I did not like this shortcut in Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0, now I love to use it.

That’s all for now. Till next time!

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