Show TOC

 Search HelpsLocate this document in the navigation structure


Search helps are objects that you can use to assign input help (F4 Help) to screen fields. You can do this by creating a search help in the ABAP Dictionary and attaching it to the corresponding screen field.


The input help (F4 help) is a standard function of the SAP system. You can display the list of all possible input values for a screen field using input help. You can enhance the possible input values with further information. This is meaningful especially when the field requires the input of a formal key.

To understand the functionality of search helps in detail, you have to be familiar with the standard input help process.

Standard Input Help Process

You call an input help with the following steps (some steps can be omitted, depending on the definition of the input help):

  1. You start the input help to display the possible input values for a field (search field) in a screen template.
  2. The system offers you a number of possible search paths. You have to select one of these search paths. Each search path offers a number of restrictions to limit the number of possible input values. These values are offered in a Dialog box for value restriction when the search path is selected.
  3. Enter the restrictions, if required, and then start the search.

The following figure gives an example that explains the first three steps.

  1. The system determines the values that satisfy the entered restrictions (hits) and displays them as a list (hit list).

    The following figure explains step 4 and step 5.

  2. Select the most suitable line from the hit list by double-clicking it.
  3. The value of the search field is returned to the screen template (possibly together with other values).

    The system omits step 2 if there is only a single search path available. In this case the dialog box for the value selection is offered immediately. You can also output the hit list directly after starting the input help. In this case the system omits steps 3 and 4.

Function of a Search Help

This standard process can be completely defined by creating a search help in the ABAP Dictionary. This search help has to be assigned only to the screen fields in which it has to be available. (For more information, see Attaching Search Helps to Screen Fields .)

There are two types of search helps:

  • Elementary search helps

    They describe a search path. The elementary search help must define the following:

    • Where the data of the hit list must be read from (the selection method)
    • How the exchange of values between the screen template and selection method is implemented (the interface of the search help)
    • How the online input help must be defined (online behavior of the search help).
  • Collective search helps

    Collective search helps combine several elementary search helps. A collective search help can offer several alternative search paths.

Using Search Helps in Web Dynpro ABAP

You can use search helps from the ABAP Dictionary in Web Dynpro for ABAP . Additional information is available under ABAP Dictionary Search Helps .

See also:

Example for Search Helps

Creating Elementary Search Helps

Creating Collective Search Helps