Custom fields in NetSuite are an essential part of every module. Custom fields are those created manually by users based on their businesses requirements. All standard or customised records can have custom fields.

This is particularly useful during implementation and after go-live, as NetSuite users have the ability to continually grow and adapt the system to meet the continually evolving needs of their organisation.

Creating a Custom Field in NetSuite

To create a custom field, navigate to Customization > Lists, Records, & Fields > Find the type of Record you want to create the custom field on > New

There can be two types of custom fields in a transaction record:

  • Body fields
  • Line level fields

You are always advised to provide relevant Field Name, ID and Description while creating the custom field. It helps other business users get a clear idea about the functionality and purpose of the respective custom field.

Custom fields are divided into different types based on the data stored in them. Some commonly used custom field types are:

  • Checkbox. A simple tick box that is essentially saying something is either True or False.
  • Currency. A Field that records a dollar value.
  • Date. A date field that is formatted to your country’s date format.
  • Email Address. Ensures email addresses into the system have correct structure and syntax.
  • Free-Form Text. An open text field that allows entry of any alphanumeric characters.
  • Hyperlink. And active hyperlink to another URL.
  • Inline HTML. Allows for entry of text that can be formatted with HTML.
  • Integer Number. Allows the entry of a standard numeric character.
  • List/ Record. Displays Records contained within a specific list in other areas of the NetSuite system.
  • Multiple Select. Allows for multiple options to be selected from a predefined list.
  • Phone Number. Ensures phone numbers entered into the system are done so in a consistent manner in line with local country standards.
  • Text Area. Allows entry of text into a field that is expected to be short. (Less than 255 Characters)

You can select the data type of the custom field that you want to use based on the data you are planning to store in that field.

There is also an option to store the value in the custom field by checking the ‘Store Value’ checkbox and vice versa. This option is checked by default while creating a custom record. If this option is unchecked, then the value in the field is not stored which means that it can have dynamic values.

To show the field in the records list, we have to check the ‘Show in List’ checkbox.

The user can also search for related records to this field globally with the field value. To enable this option, they have to check the ‘Global Search’ checkbox. If this field is greyed out then check the ‘Store Value’ checkbox.

Applies To Tab

In the next step, the user has to select the record they want the custom field to be applied to from the list of records displayed in the ‘Applies to’ tab. The list of records differs for each type of custom field.

Display Tab

In the ‘Display’ tab, the user can configure the field to show it in a particular Subtab. The user can also select the Display Type for this field based on the business process. It is also advised that a meaningful detail is captured for the field in the ‘Help’ field to help the users interacting with this field get a better idea of its intended contents.

Validation and Defaulting Tab

In the ‘Validation & Defaulting’ tab, a field can be made mandatory by checking the ‘Mandatory’ checkbox. This is also possible by checking the mandatory checkbox in the Custom Form column as discussed in this previous post. We can also enable spelling check for the entered field data by checking the ‘Check Spelling’ checkbox.

There is an option to assign a default value for this custom field. We can add a value or a formula in the ‘Default Value’ field to assign a default value for this custom field. Please note that if you are adding a formula, it is advised to check the ‘Formula’ checkbox on the right. We can also add search results in the custom field. More about this on the upcoming articles.

Sourcing and Filtering Tab

We will move to the ‘Sourcing & Filtering’ tab. In this tab we can choose the Source List and field to source specific data for the custom field.

Access Tab

In the ‘Access’ tab, the default permissions for accessing and searching the custom field data is defined. These permissions can be Edit, View or None. This is where an administrator is able to decide who in the organisation can see or edit the information in the field, or whether or not they can see it at all.

Finally, when we are about to save the field, we can choose the option ‘Save & Apply to Forms’ to select the forms we want the custom field being applied to.

A word of caution!

Whilst adding fields to forms and transaction records in NetSuite is very simple to do, any business planning on using this functionality should have an internal policy on how new fields are proposed, implemented and rolled out across the business.


In our experience, there should be a single resource within the business who has the responsibility of maintaining all custom fields in your NetSuite system along with completing in the documentation that is required to track and manage all business-use cases.

At Klugo, we also provide a complete range NetSuite administrative and managed service offering and provide our customers with the peace of mind that’s they are collaborating within NetSuite expert to ensure the best use of NetSuite and paying attention to the bigger picture.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in NetSuite today.
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