Order field on sales invoice form

You should follow @Patch advise and use the Batch Update function then click on copy to clipboard and paste in browser, etc.

Hi developers,

To solve this issue and make everyone happy here, can you just make a little change as per below?

Currently ‘reference’ field is the invoice number so if we name it as ‘Invoice #’ it is more specific than before.
And put the ‘order number’ field back in and name it as ‘reference’ field so users can use the ‘reference’ field for their own external order number or quote number and this can even be anything or just leave it blank if they don’t need and it won’t appear in the printed page.

This way, for those who use ‘sales order’ tab, they can keep using it and link the order number they created in the ‘sales order’ tab and if they need something else, they can use ‘reference’ as something else or just don’t use it and won’t appear in the printed page.

I believe this is super easy simple fix and make everyone happy as it’s just a matter of re-naming the two fields. That’s it.

I really don’t want to make anything mess as I’ve been using the Manager for many years so do others and I believe all others will agree with my suggestion.

@mauroskov @durkpotgieter @BertChris @eko @lubos @Patch @Tut


I think changing the terminology would do more harm than good, especially if you consider that reference is actually a general term that could be applied to absolutely anything, so using it specifically to refer to Order no. would be confusing.

I believe that using the general term Reference for the main reference (in this case “Invoice no.”) is more appropriate while additional references need to be specific (i.e. Order no., Quote no., … etc.).

Also, this isn’t what the thread is about since the field is already gone and there’s no way to rename a nonexistent field.

The answer is obvious as @lubos & @Tut already pointed out:

  1. Create a custom field
  2. Check show as a column
  3. Check show in printed documents
  4. Check show at the top

That should replicate the exact previous behavior.

Also, I would add that the default “Order no.” field and the deprecated manual “Order no.” field aren’t identical. The automatic one refers to references generated internally and the other refers to a reference generated externally – be it customer order or manual order or whatever.

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No, I definitely do not agree with your suggestion. In addition to the comments made by @Ealfardan, which I do agree with, the term Reference has a specific meaning within Manager and the Liquid templating language used for display of transactions. It refers to the identification of the current transaction, whether that is a sales invoice, order, payslip, journal entry, etc.

You have exactly described @lubos’ Option 2, except that you want the custom field to be defined for you. In that case, you would lose the ability to name the field according to your usage.

@mauroskov, you actually do not need to do any update. Any content entered in the former free-text Order number field is preserved and displayed on completed forms. This was explained in the thread where this subject was originally introduced: Order number has disappeared from Sales Invoice - Edit screen - #2 by lubos.

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Then you have to change the term reference into more specific term for each own. In the edit page of sales invoice, the term reference is only being used for the ‘invoice number’ and it’s exactly only displayed as INVOICE NUMBER on the printed page. Why not we use INVOICE NUMBER in the edit page?

I meant not the option 2, but as long as we have a separate reference field for something else not for invoice number then, for those who use sales order tab, they can keep using it and get the order number from sales order tab and the have extra field reference field for something else or leave it blank if not needed.

I don’t know much about the coding but I believe there’s better way than just completely removing the order number field and let users to create custom field.

@lubos I love this, it makes the system even more user friendly for new users, two order numbers in the past was confusing any non-accountant user.
Having the ability to set the custom field to display at the top is great, if I may make a suggestion, can we later have another checkbox for custom fields (option) to make the field mandatory?

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Hi, @lubos Thanks for the rapid updates on Software.

I have created my own theme, with serial numbers on Sales Invoice and etc.,
I have created a custom field for the Order Number, but It’s not showing on top in Custom Theme, It’s working on the plain default theme.


I really would like to understand why it is seen as so much more work to first create a Sales Order and use Copy to Sales Invoice. All information gets copied over and you only have to add the due date and if necessary the Sales Invoice reference number. The time loss is insignificant while the process is much better. I would encourage anyone to try it as it is painless.

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Did you follow the steps in the guide in which it is explained how to do it?

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Yes @Mark you too try it.

Works well.


I bet you forgot to add the code for the custom field after {% for field in fields %}?


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Thanks @Mark
Nobody mentioned to do like the same which you are showing now.
Whatever @lubos mentioned i did the same.
Now i will add codes in custom theme and check.

I asked you if you followed all steps indicated in the corresponding guide and you said yes but it seems you really didn’t read it well because you forgot the 1st part of the guide. :wink:

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@AlFalahAccounting, you must also accept responsibility for performance of your own custom themes. The developer cannot anticipate changes you might introduce to a theme. Nor can he be responsible for changing your themes when new features are added.

This was addressed in the June 2022 issue of the newsletter that came out 10 days ago. If you have not subscribed, you should.

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I disagree. I have never understood why Manager uses a generic term like Reference. The field should be clearly defined as to what it’s use is especially as when linked with other forms, it then is clearly defined. For example when you copy a sales order to a sales invoice that reference on the sales order becomes order no on the sales invoice. So why not just call it order number on the sales order.

In the long run it actually prevents people from using the wrong references from day one. For example many years ago when I started using Manager, I was using my own purchase invoice numbers not the suppliers invoice number. So I had to waste a lot of time correcting that when I discovered why I needed the suppliers invoice numbers.

What alternatives are there? Id, Name, Number?

They all are generic but fail in some respects that “Reference” doesn’t. For example, number assumes no letters are used while id assumes uniqueness.

Anyway, if what you mean by specificity is adding the form name before “reference” or whatever equivalent to that then that would be redundant since the form name already appears at less for times:

  1. In the title bar
  2. Highlighted in the active tab
  3. In the breadcrumbs
  4. In the form title

Therefore I don’t think anyone would mistake reference of an invoice with that of a receipt.

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In essence there is use of only 2 numbers.

  • The first is dealing with a Business own references. It helps to track all that a business does from quotes, orders, invoices payments, inventory, assets, and receipts, etc.

  • The other with the Suppliers, Customer and Other references. This should be inputted wherever they provided you with a reference or you can choose your own for each supplier and customer.

@Ealfardan is right to pint out that the “type” be it a form, a screen etc is sufficient to avoid mistakes. However, I would recommend to consider using Our reference for all references related to the business and Your reference for all customers and suppliers and other.

I don’t mean no specifically when I same order number. Most people say order number even when the order reference includes letters, not just numbers.

You can simply state order reference instead. I am more concerned with what reference you use - i.e. supplier reference, client reference etc. Not the specific format of the reference.

This is exactly what I mean. Defining “ours” or “yours” to make it more clear what reference should be put into the reference field. The initial form being used obviously defines what reference it is - but not whose reference. So ya, an Our Reference or Your Reference would work. However, I would still prefer Our Order Reference so that it is consistent with the name on other forms that are linked.

For example on my sales order, I have Reference and on my Sales invoiced linked to that Sales Order I have Order Number. So the two names are not consistent - which I would like them to be and second it is not clear whether the reference is my reference or my client’s reference. So “Your Order Reference” would work on both forms - clearly defining an order reference on the sales invoice and that it is the customer’s reference that is being used.

Not all references relate to orders and also the screen real estate too much.