sorting account Register on Transfer/account column

Andrew Sackville-West andrew at
Wed Mar 15 14:37:47 EST 2006

Please keep replies on the list. there is no way for others to follow and learn without it. Likewise, if you want the dev's to see this... 

On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 11:03:53 -0500
TyrusMaynard <mayn at> wrote:

> I see what you mean that a Report can show each Transaction, grouped by Other 
> Account . Current version 1.8 allows one click on the  group heading hyperlink 
> to get to the Register for that "Other Account" and then Edit a transaction.
> Then you are saying that 1.9 and later will create a Report hyperlink for each 
> Transaction to go directly to Transaction in the given Register.
> Maybe this segregation of Report mode and Register mode is good, but somehow it 
> seems an artificial imposition of composing reports and clicking back and forth.

well a report and a register are two different things. a register is an editable listing of every transaction in some arbitrary order, usually date order. A report is generally a compilation of data from many transactions aggregated in some more useful form. so its not really an arbitrary segregation. Reports allow you to do things that can't be done in a register, like add up amounts for particular kinds of transactions over specific dates and accounts. A register can't do that. Think of it like keeping a traditional paper check book. The register is that same listing of each check, payee, date, amount, purpose etc. A report is sifting through that listing for all payees=foo in the month of bar and totalling it up. They are different animals. A transaction report is just like any other report except that it doesn't do any math, just sorts and lists the transactions that meet the report criteria.

>     If a Pooled Register could be accessed with Sort by "Other Account(Transfer 
> Account) ...then the user would have free movement within that Pool.  When a 
> user is in the Register , it is a row/column view like every database GUI from 
> days of dBaseIII to the present. Somehow gnucash has acquired an evolutionary 
> limitation against sorting on one of its most important fields/columns.
>    As long as an Edited transaction behaves as double entry, why should the user 
> be limited from using "OtherAccount(Transfer)" as a choice of sorting in a 
> Register?
>   As for the concept of a "Pooled Register" ....a Checking Account  is already a 
> defacto "Pool" of most transactions and most transactions are "unsplit". As for 
> the smaller world of "split" transactions ...a convention can be achieved for 
> the display and sorting on "Transfer account" when the Transfer is "split".

What you are looking for, it appears, is Tools->General Ledger. That shows "every" transaction and is a "pooled" register. The problem there is that every transaction in the general ledger has two accounts or more. There is no "other" account, so sorting the general ledger by account is a problem.

I think what you are looking for is a way to sort your checking account by "other account" with a convention that every transaction that has more than 1 "other account" be handled in a special way, perhaps by grouping them all together at the bottom or top of the list? or sub sorting them by each line in the "other accounts"? 

What you maybe fail to realize is that lots of us use gnucash for small business and in small business, multiple splits in a transaction are fairly common. When I run a transaction report sorted by "other account" 1/4 or more of those transactions end up in the "split" category, so its not of much use. However, what you are proposing is certainly reasonable and probably useful to others. You should file a "feature request" in bugzilla stating something like "add a sort option to the register to sort by 'other account'" and maybe someone will do it.

>     The choices of sorting for a Register seems to be an arbitrary limitation 
> embedded in the GUI. 

of course, someone somewhen decided this was how to sort a register, wrote the code and there it is. nothing prevents you or others from changing it. :)

> Subsequent users guess at the logic and as a denizen of 
> the GUI this is my reaction and my appeal to ergonomics. I suppose this list is 
> followed by gnucash developers, but should I also post to the developer list 
> (I am not a developer, only a user)  Thanks

this is called user feedback and is vital to a project like gnucash. I again suggest you file a feature request at bugzilla.

hope this helps.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 191 bytes
Desc: not available
Url :

More information about the gnucash-user mailing list