Using Advanced Search to Locate Records in CRM 2013

Advanced search allows you to find any type of record in CRM using advanced filters, this article will cover the features of Advanced Search.

Accessing Advanced Search

Go to any type of record and in the command bar there should be an option called ADVANCED SEARCH which will open the advanced search window, if not shown then in may be hidden in the ellipses on the right of the command bar.

Creating a Search

By default when the advanced search window appears it will search for records owned by the current user that are active, however changing the filters is simple. I’ll quickly cover finding a list of contacts who are active and who have been emailed recently.

  1. The type of record that Advanced Search will be searching by default will depend on how and where you accessed it. This can be easily changed however, where it says ‘Look for:’ select the drop-down then select Contacts from the list of options. Changing this will also clear the filters.
  2. Now click on the blue ‘Select’ to reveal the fields that are part of Contacts, selecting a field is the first step to creating a filter. Now select the following fields, ignoring anything else for now.
    • Status
    • Last Date Included in Campaign
  3. Just right of the field names it will have selected some default operators, these will depend on the type of field, the operator for status is perfectly fine. However you’ll want to change the Last Date included in Campaign operator to be ‘On or After’.
  4. Depending on the fields selected and the operators the last field on the right will change to display the most helpful type of selector, for Status this will be a field with a button right of it, click the button to open a list of options, select ‘Active’ which will mean you’ll only return contacts which are not disabled.
  5. Right of the ‘Last Date Included in Campaign’ field will have changed to be a date picker, although you can type in the date I would suggest using the actual picker so that it’s formatted correctly, for now select a date two or three months prior to when you’re reading this, so for example I’ll use 01/01/2015.
  6. Dynamics will by default group filters by AND, this means that every filter must be true but that may not always be what you want. Go ahead and select two of the filters by clicking the down facing arrow left of the filters then clicking ‘Select Row’. Once done click ‘Group AND’ in the ADVANCED FIND tab at the top to group the filters. In this manner advanced filters can be setup.
  7. Now that you’ve created a complete filter set it’s time to see if you get the expected results, to do this click ‘Results’ in the top left of the window which is shown by a large red exclamation mark.
  8. In my case this search has returned 2300 valid contacts that matched my filters.

Modifying Displayed Columns

You may have noticed that only a small portion of the information available on contacts was actually displayed by default, to change this –

  1. Click ADVANCED FIND which will bring you back to the filter setup page.
  2. In the View section of the ADVANCED FIND tab click ‘Edit Columns’.
  3. This will bring up a preview of what columns are displayed in your search, these can be modified in several ways including modifying the size, the order and what columns are displayed primarily using the controls on the right.

Adding Columns

  1. Click ‘Add Columns’ in the right hand menu (same window as previous section).
  2. By default it will open a popup displaying fields that are within the contacts form itself, however CRM is good at creating links between information so the fields you see are not all the fields you can select, as an example lets show a Contacts’ Companies’ Main phone number.
  3. Right of where it says Record Type, select ‘Company Name (Account)’ which will display all fields that are part of the Account which the displayed contacts are part of.
  4. Locate the field ‘Main Phone’ and check the box left of it, now click OK.
  5. It will have been added to the end of the current columns which is fine for now. Click OK again to close the Edit Columns page.
  6. Click Results to display all the results again, you should notice the new column you just added is also displayed now.

Removing Columns

  1. Click the ADVANCED FIND tab heading again to go back to the filters page.
  2. Again click ‘Edit Columns’ to bring up the column options page.
  3. If you’re following this document step-by-step scroll right until you can see the column you added in the last section otherwise select any column by clicking the column heading.
  4. When selected, the column should show a green border around it, click Remove then OK to confirm.
  5. The field you removed will no longer display in the search.
  6. Click OK to apply the change.

Changing Widths and Sorting of Columns

  1. Go to the Edit Columns page again and select the Full Name column if it’s available however any field will do.
  2. Once selected click ‘Change Properties’ which can be found in the right hand menu. This will allow you to modify the width of the column, for now select 200px to give plenty of space for the information in this column, then select OK.
  3. You should notice that the preview has updated to reflect your change.

Modifying Search Sorting

  1. In the Edit Columns page click ‘Configure Sorting’ in the right hand menu.
  2. By default the search will most likely be ordered by Full Name in Ascending order, change this to Descending Order then click OK and OK again to apply the change and close the Edit Columns window.
  3. If you do a new search by clicking Results you should see the changes you have made now.

Saving an Advanced Search as a View

Any searches can be saved as a private view for use by yourself or others at a later date which can be helpful for demo purposes and also accessing specific information quickly.

  1. In the advanced search Query view (default ADVANCED FIND page) click Save As.
  2. Give the view a descriptive name and a short description then click Save.
  3. Now close the Advanced Search window and refresh CRM.
  4. If you now click the name of the currently displayed view, you should see the new view you created in the drop-down which should be just below the ‘My Views’ heading.

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