Custom fields: how to select more than one item on dropdown list

You show Zoho Creator multi-select field and that is just a standard used by many form generators such as Gravity Forms for Worpress.

What would be more important is to show where this is being used in any of the Zoho Accounting and Zoho Invoicing Applications.

@compuit mentioned a good use case as this would just build a free text line (as is currently the case) for multiple selected options. However, it may be more time consuming and error prone compared to the current method being used because now you will have to scroll and select several in a list rather than scroll and single click.

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Fir example I use a lot of custom fields under inventory kit to classify my products. Assigning a product to multiple categories would be useful.

In any case, I wouldn’t spend so much time imagining all possible uses of a custom field type as it is, by definition, custom. If all database implementations nowadays provide this kind of field it means that it is widely used.

@Davide, I did not see an answer to the question where multi-select as used in Zoho Creator is used in Zoho Accouting and Zoho Invoicing. As you are aware Zoho contains numerous applications.

There is no questions that custom fields are widely used and I even supported the use case by @compuit be it that I had some reservations related to time-saving and increased probability for errors.

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That’s because we are talking about Manager and not Zoho Books…

However since you are asking this data type it is used also in Custom Fields also in Zoho Books.

And I have never claimed such a thing, just pointed that multiselect drodowns exist and there are good reasons they exist. But use cases are there for sure even in accounting.

Yeah, it definitely saves us time and in many cases it has saved us at the point when the customer picks up their goods it ensures to some degree they get all their things back as supplied / recorded. That in itself saves a lot of time / embarrassment for the crew and of course on the other hand customer travel time and high blood pressure levels are avoided. They do not have to come back to collect missed goods. Once again this is a case where Manager assists with operational activities (Not really accounting as such) and it certainly puts forward the idea that Manager is now really a lot more than just an accounting system.

If considered the implement and orientation of the tick boxes / selection items should be arranged horizontally on screen and on print outs.


@compuit, for the use case you describe, I can see a simpler implementation. Your dropdown list, with its many combinations, already shows that you are considering only certain accessories. Why not create a custom field for each accessory: Adapter, Charging Cord, USB Drive, etc. The receptionist then puts an X (or even a description) in the field for each accessory left by the customer. Those not left will not print on documents. This seems much more direct than scrolling through your current list of combinations, where it would be easy to mistakenly choose an option that includes an accessory not left.

As you know custom fields take up a lot of real estate and then one for each accessory… I think it will be a drawback. The thing that was pointed out in the beginning was the ability to make / pick multiple selections from a dropdown box or similar. That has got me to see a practical and useful application of such a feature.


There will be no combination predefined. One item per line, but with a possibility to choose multiple of them. Far superior than for example 10 custom check boxes.

Your are very correct. @lubos please what is your conclusion?

Thanks for providing an actual use case.

For creating a general database registering customer supplied equipment within Mangers accounting structure:

  • I would create several custom fields, repeating the contents of the drop down list if multiple items from a particular list are likely to be selected. So if customers mostly bring in less than 3 items then 3 drop down lists would be created.

  • However in practice, in such a database I would want information to identify what the customer actually supplied (what sort of bag, what sort of protector, what cables etc). To do so a free text field would be required adjacent to each drop down list items selected.

  • But within Mangers sales order / Invoice it would probably work better again to use zero value Non inventory Items, for example “Customer bag”, “Customer protector” etc. More specific information could then be added to each description as required.

In my opinion if Manager has multi-select lists added it should be a separate new data entry type so as not to compromise the usability of the single selections lists required for the majority of Managers use cases.

I would consider to use non-inventory items instead of custom fields, it would allow you to add a description if needed.

You would as you do in reality take the items in and then give them back, that is best handled this way.

If I understood the case study, in my opinion, ,now that line custom fields is available on transaction forms, you can also handle this issue by creating line custom fields on the transaction forms. You can then use multiple lines to record the difference items and in each case select the appropriate option for each item.

This is not correct in most of cases:

  1. custom fields doesn’t apply only to transactions
  2. you may have to link a transaction to many different values of a custom fields but you may not know how to split the value
  3. It may be even illegal in some counties to create dummy transaction lines just to add a custom fields, ie tags that have nothing to do with accounting

For the only actual use case describe in this thread, that is very unlikely.
There is no reason an invoice for the repair of a customers electronic device should not specify the equipment supplied for repair, and that the customer supplied equipment was done at zero cost.

There maybe another use cases which creates a legal problem for a user with a specific problem in a specific jurisdiction, however such a use case has not been describe here.

@Patch did you try my suggestion? I think that non-inventory items at 0 value are a much cleaner way to deal with this.

  1. Create an income account in Charter of Account as follows:

  2. Create a customer and copy this customer to supplier so the customer is both a buyer and a seller

  3. Create as many non-inventory items in settings such as example below, where both When sold and When purchased are allocated to the income account created in point 1 above and where you could autofill the amounts to 0 (no value) :

  4. Enable Goods Receipts tab in customize and create a goods receipt as for example below (descriptions where written manually and are optional):

  5. When the customer picks up the items copy the Goods Receipt you created in view to a New Sales Invoice or New Receipt and add any other line. Sort the lines as you wish.

Yes which is why I wrote above

But thanks for illustrating it so well

By the way @compuit has the business with a use case for this functionality.

Sorry @Patch my mistake to answer a request by @compuit but my solution would address the second point you raised where you can select and write descriptions in the absence of any other solution that would do the same at the moment.

This has been added to the latest version (22.8.19).

Under Settings, then Custom Fields, there is new screen named Multiple Value Custom Fields


You can create new multiple value custom field on both top-level and individual lines.


Then it will be shown as follows:


And when viewing…


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No Custom Field showing in view mode.

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