Changing standard SAP field descriptions
Sometimes you absolutely need a couple of fields to input all your information, so you end up using an unused field. What happens if the field description does not match, not even closely the information you put in it?
Well you have several choices:
- You could live with it.
- You could create your own data dictionary for your users, so that they know that field X in fact represents Y (but this has to be for a very limited number of fields)
- You could change the standard SAP description of the field – but bear in mind that you’ll probably need to multiply that effort by the number of languages used within your company.
So here it goes – what I will show here is by no way a recommendation and I take no responsibility for you doing it!
To illustrate this example we will change the description of a field from the material master. In this case I selected the field ‘Prod./Insp. Memo’ (Production/Inspection memo) which is usually found in the basic data views. It is a nice field because it is an information field: There is no customizing table behind it.
Before we do anything, we need to get some technical information on that field. So position the cursor on the field for which you want to change the description, display the technical information and note the data element (do function key F1 / technical information to get it). In this case the data element is ‘FERTH’.
Now follow the path to select the transaction indicated.
or simply type the transaction code CMOD in the transaction window.
You’ll be sent to a screen called ‘Project Management of SAP Enhancements’. In that screen select the menu as indicated (Goto / Text enhancements / Keywords / Change).
You’ll then have to select the language in which you want to change the description (if you are working in a multi-language environment, you’ll have to repeat this step for every language maintained).
In the field ‘Data Element’, type the Data Element name noted earlier.
The following screen will then be displayed. That screen has several fields. They contain the various descriptions for the data element selected. Depending on what screen/layout this data element is used the system will use one of the short, medium or long description fields. The Heading field will as its name suggests be used in the list header row of a layout. The Short Description field will be used when you select the function key F1 (help) on that field.
The length of each field is :
- Short field label: 10 characters
- Medium field label: 20 characters
- Long field label: 40 characters
- Heading: 55 characters
- Short Description: 60 characters
Replace the texts with those that you want to appear. For example: Save your changes (depending on your setup, record this in a customising request). Note that this is a cross client change.
Now if you go back in the material master for example, the field displays the new information.
And if you select the function key F1 (help) you’ll actually see the text corresponding to the Short description appear – Note that the downside of this is that only the first line is changed. The rest of the help text refers to the standard help documentation.
This technique should be used when all other options have been investigated and there is no other way around. Don’t go on a SAP renaming spree!
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