Extend a Standard Search Help without any Programming

Search Helps are used to provide a list of possible entries on a specific field.

If you don’t remember – Then this is a search help.

Search Help Example

In SAP there are a number of ways in which you can assign a search help to a screen field. And though SAP has provided tons of search helps already, however sometimes clients are so used to viewing their data in a particular way that they insist on having the possible entries displayed to them in a certain way.

Well after all, client is client — and hence, sometimes you may find yourself in a delimma where there is no standard search help available for a standard screen field and you might just have to develop one for them.

I was working on a recent development where the client noticed that Batch Number on the Purchase Order could not be searched by the WBS element. My client is always used to searching everything by WBS elements hence providing them with such a search help would make them happy. So with that idea in mind I quickly extended the collective search help by including a standard search help into the group.

Notice there is hardly any programming involved in these steps.

I will walk you through the steps of how I did it below.

  • Transaction ME21N is used to create a Purchase Order.
  • Following is a populated Purchase Order.

Purchase Order

  • Clicking on the search help for the Batch field reveals a list of elementary search helps but no search help to locate Batch numbers by WBS Elements.

Batch Search Help

  • Locating the Collective Search help name for batch field is easy. Just hit F1 on Batch number and go to the technical attributes of the field.

Search Help Name

  • I find here that the name of the Search Help used here is MCH1.
  • Let’s have a look at MCH1 in the data dictionary. To do that execute transaction SE11 and in the search help field put MCH1.


  • Here we notice that MCH1 is a collective search help, which includes a number of elementary search helps.
  • This means we would need to first create an elementary search help to get Batch number by WBS element and then include  that help into the collective search help MCH1 for batch number. This will get the help in the list.

Findings so far :

  1. Batch Number Search Help is MCH1
  2. MCH1 is a collective search help which has a number of elementary search helps.
  3. In order to be able to search Batch numbers by WBS elements, we will need to create a custom elementary search help and then add it into the list of search helps for MCH1.

Let’s proceed with developing an elementary search help.


  1. Saurabh Kelkar

    HI, although I’m a technical developer and I do understand that this explanation is wonderful for functional people, it’s very nicely described! Keep up the good work & keep on sharing.

    • Thats Nice Saurabh!! – Now If I get the same feedback from some functional people — then the blog has served its purpose .. 🙂
      I am working on some more articles like these ones — come back for more.

  2. Rajkamal

    Hi Linking sir. The information you share is always easy to understand and great ! It clears of doubts in the technical areas we work in and in fact other areas as well. The images displayed make it more easier to understand the technical details. But here, I request you to provide a zoom functionality for the images, so we could zoom in more to the image details.

    Thanks you.

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