Because of the large quantity of information available in a company’s instance of NetSuite, navigating NetSuite can be a daunting task. But several navigation tools in NetSuite help streamline the process.

Navigation Tools

Let’s take a look at some of these basic tools.


First, there are shortcuts. You can access shortcuts in a couple different ways. The easiest way to access all your shortcuts from any page in NetSuite is to hover over the star icon in the top group of tabs. If you need to add a NetSuite page or record to your shortcuts, you can do that by navigating to that page, hovering over the star icon, and selecting Add to Shortcuts. You can also access your shortcuts from the shortcut portlet on your home dashboard, and you can add both native NetSuite pages as well as external links to this portlet. Depending on how many shortcuts you feel you need, you may find that creating shortcut groups would be beneficial. You can create a shortcut group using the Navigation Portlet SuiteApp. If this SuiteApp hasn’t been installed yet in your instance of NetSuite, you can access the instructions to do that here.

Generally, when people talk about shortcuts in NetSuite they are referring to shortcuts for specific pages or records. But there are also specific keyboard shortcuts that can help speed up a user’s navigation in NetSuite. For example, on any given record in NetSuite you will notice that the subtab names each have a specific letter underlined. To select a subtab, you could either do so manually with your mouse or you could type Alt-[underlined letter] (for Windows) or Control-Option-[underlined letter] (for Mac). Some other keyboard shortcuts include the date field shortcuts, which you can learn more about here.

Recent Records

Sometimes you may find yourself needing to switch back and forth between the same few records, or you may simply need to get back to a record you have just been on recently. Instead of using the standard NetSuite navigation, you can hover over the Recent Records icon to the left of the Shortcuts star icon. In the dropdown list, you will see the most recent records you have accessed. To see more recent records, hover over the Recent Records icon and select All Recent Records. You will have the option either to view or to edit these records. And if you simply want to get back to the record you were just on, click the Recent Records icon.


Centers in NetSuite are a specific configuration of top tabs that are unique to each role. Because users in each role need to access specific records, having the right tabs already designated for each role ensures that users can easily access what they need. In addition to the standard roles and centers, administrators can also create new centers which can be assigned to custom roles. To learn more about both roles and centers, check out a previous blog on the topic here.


Portlets provide quick snapshots of key information on a user’s dashboard. To customize which portlets appear on your dashboard, go to your main dashboard by clicking on the home icon in the top tab list. You can add new portlets by clicking Personalize on the top right of the dashboard and then selecting the type of portlet you would like to add. To customize the content of either a new portlet or a current portlet, hover your mouse over the portlet, select the three dots in the top right corner of the portlet, and choose Set Up.

Global Search

Another key navigation tool in NetSuite is the global search bar. The global search bar is located top and center of NetSuite, and it is arguably the most powerful navigation option. If you don’t know where a specific record is located in NetSuite, then you probably want to use the global search bar to find it. When searching for a record, you can use a prefix of the record type (like “cu” or “cust” for “Customer”) followed by a colon and at least part of the record you wish to find. If you need to find inactive records in addition to active ones, simply add “+” to the end of your search. For example, if you’re looking for a customer named Bob, but you’re not sure if he’s still an active customer, searching for “cu: bob+” would pull up the desired record. For more global search tips, you may find this blog helpful.

Quick Search

Finally, the quick search option provides yet another way to simplify navigation in NetSuite. Quick search is just a portlet that can be added to your dashboard. After adding this portlet to your dashboard, you can customize it so that it can be used to search for either general records or specific transactions. Simply choose General or Transaction in the Quick Search Setup popup box. Then you can choose the default search type. For example, if you regularly work with sales orders in your company, then having a sales order quick search set up on your dashboard would save you a lot of time. Depending on the type of record or transaction you choose for your quick search, the quick search portlet will include relevant types of information you could search for. In our sales order example, the quick search portlet would include search fields for the sales order name, date, number, and check number.


These navigation tools in NetSuite greatly simplify searching for and using records and transactions! If this blog has been helpful, check out some of our related posts linked below. And don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss any of our weekly posts!