Displaying the field name or the field label in SE16
In this article, I will explain how you can change between displaying the field name and displaying the field label in the SAP® transaction SE16. Afterwards, I will describe the advantages and disadvantages of each setting.
Displaying the table contents in SE16
Table contents can be displayed by this SAP® transaction. As example, the contents of table BSAD (cleared customer items) will be displayed. We filter on company code 1000 and fiscal year 2005. After the entry of the table name, you get to the following entry screen. The company code is stored in the field BUKRS whereas the fiscal year is stored in the field GJAHR:
The results can be displayed by clicking the button “Execute” which is located top left or pressing the key F8. Following result is displayed:
Normally, not all fields of a table can be displayed because the list width is restricted to 1023 characters at maximum. To display the details of a data record, the corresponding line must be double-clicked. Then you get the following screen:
Displaying the field labels in SE16
You have certainly already recognized that only field names were displayed. There is the possibility to display the field labels. For this, you go to the menu Settings ->User Parameters:
In the following screen you see that the field name is selected as keyword. To display the field label, you must select the field label as keyword:
Afterwards you see the field labels instead of the technical field names:
The changes to the settings are valid for all views in SE16, this means that the field labels are displayed in the selection screen and in the detail view, too. Besides, there is the possibility to change the settings in each SE16-view.
Field name vs. field label
Each user must decide individually if displaying the field label is better than displaying the field name. A recommendation would be too general. To facilitate the decision, the advantages and disadvantages of each setting will be discussed.
An advantage of the field name is that it can appear only once in a table and therefore this field can be uniquely identified. If the field label is displayed, the user cannot always uniquely retrace which field is concerned. This can produce confusions.
A further advantage of the field name is that it is shorter than the field label in most cases. Therefore more fields can be displayed in the hit list.
A big advantage of the field label is that a user who does not know the technical names of the fields can get more familiar with the field label. The field names mostly base on a German abbreviation. As consequence users who do not speak German cannot do anything with the field name. Besides, the content of the field label is dependent from the language.
It was explained in this article how to change between displaying the field name and displaying the field label in transaction SE16. The advantages and disadvantages of each setting were discussed. We cannot say in general which setting is the better one. If you are familiar with the technical names, you should display the field name. Otherwise you should use the field label as keyword.
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