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Report or query on the memo field

frank6 Member ✭✭✭
I have been using the Mac version exclusively for about 4 years now.  Since this time I have not been able to find a purchase on a credit card that is recorded in the memo field.  I know I have done this in the windows version.

I have bought items over the years and with larger ticket items I put the description of the item in the memo field.  How do I find that item?  I know that I can click at the top left under "all transactions" and do the search there.  But the problem is over the years I have had many credit cards and they are now hidden so it won't show this way.


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    There are two approaches to finding things like this in Quicken. One is the Search box at the top left of your registers. Clicking Al Transactions in the left sidebar, making sure you have made the Memo/Notes field visible in this Group register, and then using Search to find specific text in a memo field can be a quick way to find things. But you have identified a key shortcoming: Search does not (yet!) offer a way to search in hidden accounts.

    Which means you must move on to the other approach: building a Report. Go to New Report on the Reports menu. Select Transaction. Give your report a name like "Refrigerator" or whatever you're looking for, and select Categories for rows. Click Create Report. (Yes, this is stupidly out of order, because you still haven't specified all of what you want.) After it creates the report, click on Customize.

    Now here comes the key: in the Customize panel, there's a checkbox at the bottom to "Include accounts hidden from reports" which you want to check:

    If you want it to search all accounts, then you're set; to limit the accounts being searched, click the "Include only transactions from selected accounts" radio button and you'll see a list of your accounts; the ones which are hidden from reports show in red. You can deselect accounts you know aren't relevant to what you're looking for. 

    Set the date range to whatever time period is appropriate, including All Dates if you just want to search for all time.

    Now the problem is that you can't search here by Memo text. So you have to try to get there by using the criteria available. Would the transaction(s) you're looking for al be in one or a couple categories? If so, click the Categories tab, click the Clear All button, and then click just the Category or Categories likely to have been used for what you're looking for. Or if you know where you bought the item(s) in question, you can limit by Payee. Click OK to close the Customize panel.

    Now Quicken builds your new report -- but you're not quite done. By default, the report doesn't include the Memo/Notes column -- but that's now easy to add. Click Columns, and click Memo/Notes.

    Now you have a report that may have some extraneous transactions, but hopefully includes the one(s) you were looking for.

    If the report is too much, and you can't think of a way to narrow the Categories, Accounts, Payees or dates, then click Export to dump the report to a CSV file; double click it to open in Numbers or Excel, and you can now use the Find command in the spreadsheet to search for the text you're seeking in the Memo/Notes field.

    That sounds like a lot of steps, and it is -- but after you're familiar with it, you can create an ad hoc report like this in a few seconds.

    If all that sounds like too much work, then you can go back tot he first option of using Search -- but you'll have to un-hide all your hidden accounts. I've done this on occasion. Open Accounts > Hide and Show Accounts. At this point, I take a screenshot of the Hide & Show Accounts window, so I have a visual reminder of all my hidden accounts. Then I uncheck all the ones hidden from lists, click OK, select All Transactions or Banking on the left sidebar, perform the Search for the memo text I'm looking for, and then got back to Show and Hide Accounts, with my screenshot open, and re-hide the accounts I previously had hidden. That's annoying if you have to do it frequently, but it's do-able if it's infrequent. (Hopefully, they'll provide an option to Search in hidden accounts in the future to make this much simpler.)

    Hopefully, one of those two approaches will work for you!
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • frank6
    frank6 Member ✭✭✭
    Thank you for that very detailed answer.  But unfortunately I knew of the suggestions you gave.

    This is something I do all the time.

    Hopefully they will finally get the Mac and windows closer to being the same.  It a good 2 or 3 years now so I think its about time.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    This doesn't directly address your problem, but one thing that I've done when replace one credit card with another, is to just keep going in the same account. At the point of transaction (where the balance is zero), I put in a zero amount transaction with a Memo notating the transition from old to new card. That way, all the transactions are still unhidden and searchable.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @frank If you've been following pretty closely over the past few years, then you've seen that the developers have been making definitive progress -- but that it's more limited than anyone would like. And based on the progress over the past several years, and knowing there are literally hundreds of feature and functionality requests users have asked for over that time, the sad reality is that we're likely still quite a long time away from the Mac and Windows products being pretty much the same. We're getting there, but it's still a long road.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • frank6
    frank6 Member ✭✭✭
    It seem like having the search in "All Transactions" field to also search hidden accounts to be an easy thing to do.  Oh well, if only quicken followed this community.
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    But the other limitation of the search all transactions is exactly that... it searches all TRANSACTIONS... if you are looking for and/or wanting to report transactions found in splits, you cannot filter just the split lines. 

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    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

  • frank6
    frank6 Member ✭✭✭
    I just want a quick way to search for something I bought.  the tv in the bedroom, a can of paint to see when I painted the living room...

    This should not be asking a lot from the developers :) 
This discussion has been closed.