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What the heck are the flat and hierarchical list view options in QuickBooks?

Take a closer look at the following screen shots out of a sample QuickBooks item list (could just as easily be a view of the QuickBooks customer/job list):

View #1:

Item List - Indented

View #2:

Item List - Flat View

Feel like you are at the eye doctor?

See any difference? (hope so!!)

"HIERARCHICAL" (INDENTED) VIEW VS. FLAT VIEW

When looking at view #1 above, you are looking at what QuickBooks refers to as the "hierarchical" view of the item list (I like to call it the indented view). Whatever you may call this view, it is visually representing that there is an "item/sub-item" relationship going on here.

In this case, Bath/Vanity Fixture is the main item, so it sits at the top of the list. Below it, you see the subitems, such as item # 5029-03-55. These sub-items show up being indented on the list so you can visually see they belong to the parent item above it.

QuickBooks provides this view (and the corresponding item/sub item or customer/job if looking at customers) so you can easily group similar things together within the list - makes for easier viewing and easier filtering of the list data in many cases.

View #2 represents the "flat" view of the list information. There is no indenting going on - all of the item numbers are showing up "flat" up against the left hand side of the list.

CHANGING THE VIEW DOESN'T CHANGE THE UNDERLYING DATA

You can easily switch from hierarchical to flat view and back by simply right clicking on the list and choosing the view you prefer, as shown below:

Item List Display Options

Keep in mind that the view you choose does not affect the data itself. If you have items/subitems or customers/jobs set up, those relationships will stay just as they are.

AND IN CASE YOU SEE THIS...

If you go to do some searching within your customer/job list, you'll then see the list automatically switched over to the flat view of the information. I'm not sure exactly why that happens, but you can easily reset the view by right clicking inside the customer/job list and resetting it back to hierarchical/indented view.

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Comments

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Mary Ellen:

Have you resorted your list recently?

Have you verified your QB data recently? (this will tell you if your QB database is in good shape)

Sometimes doing those steps will resolve the problem you mention.

Scott Gregory, QuickBooks Expert

Quickbooks will not let us type first two letters of customer names. We have to scroll...Very annoying.

Hi Dave:

Sorry to say - no way to force QB into hierarchical mode after a search is done...

Scott Gregory

Is there a way to keep the view in hierarchical mode? I hate that the view resets. Complete PITA!

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