In recent posts, we’ve been looking at the key SuiteBuilder elements. One of these elements is custom subtabs. Custom subtabs enable NetSuite users to arrange custom fields into logical categories. Understanding how to create and use these subtabs falls under the Setup and Administration portion of the SuiteFoundation exam, but having a working knowledge of them will benefit all NetSuite users, whether or not you are currently studying for the SuiteFoundation exam.

Creating Custom Subtabs

Let’s start by looking at how to create a new custom subtab. There are two main ways to do this. First, you could navigate to Customization > Forms > Subtabs > New. This method will take you directly to the official page for creating new subtabs. However, you could also create new subtabs directly from the Custom Subtabs page. In this case, you would navigate to Customization > Forms > Subtabs. You can do all the same things on this page that you could do on the official new subtab page, except for designating a script ID for your subtab. If you don’t care what the script ID is, then the Custom Subtabs page is probably the simplest way for you to create new subtabs.

Custom Subtab Options

When you create a custom subtab, consider the following options.

Record Options

First, you have record options. What record do you want to house your subtab? The four main record types are Transaction, Item, CRM, and Entity. When you create a new subtab, you will need to choose a record type for your subtab to appear on.

Organization Options

On the Custom Subtabs page, you have the option of changing the order that subtabs will appear on each record. To do this, use the Move Up, Move Down, Move to Top and Move to Bottom buttons.

Another organization option available to you is selecting a parent subtab for your subtab. A parent subtab is a pre-existing subtab (whether a native NetSuite subtab or a custom subtab) that your new subtab would appear under. The list of options under the parent field will be specific to the record type you have already selected. Note that you cannot keep building on this hierarchy; you can only have parent/child subtabs, not parent/child/grandchild subtabs.

Language Options

A final key option available to you is that you can enter a translation for your custom subtabs for other languages that your company uses besides the one you have set as your preferred language. You can add these translations directly on the Custom Subtabs page while you are creating a new subtab. You can also add a translation for previously created custom subtabs. Note, however, that you can provide translations only for languages that NetSuite supports, and only the languages that have been added for your company in the Languages subtab under General Preferences. In addition, the translations for custom subtabs cannot exceed 50 characters.

Using Custom Subtabs

If you have custom subtabs, there are a couple things you should be aware of to simplify your use of them. First, once you create a subtab, it won’t appear on the record until the subtab has at least one field located in it. So if you’re not seeing a subtab you created, chances are you haven’t added any fields to it yet.

Second, if you ever need to edit the name of a custom subtab, you can do that on the Custom Subtabs page. You can also add a translation of the subtab in a different language from this page. However, you cannot change either the script ID, the record type the subtab appears on, or the parent subtab. If you want to move a subtab from one record type to another, you would need to delete the initial subtab entirely and create a similar subtab for the other record type.


We hope this overview of custom subtabs has been helpful! Check out the related posts linked below for more of our SuiteFoundation content, and don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list below so that you never miss a post!