Two Questions: Using the Comments field for an account, restructuring categories.

dtd's Avatar


24 Nov, 2021 07:40 PM

Is there any way to use the Comments field for Accounts/Categories (that appears when you edit them - it's under the taxable/inactive boxes) other than in that box itself? (Like in a report, a list, or something else?) It's nice to have this comment box, but I'm planning to use it for a LOT of categories, and it would be nice to be able to see it in some way other than one by one when editing the item.

I imported to Moneydance 2 years ago (35 years worth of data) and given the amount of data, just decided to leave history alone after finally making it all work given the QIF import problems. Now, I'm restructuring all the categories, changing the hierarchy, (finding bugs in the hierarchy lists :) ), creating new categories, and using the fantastic Find/Replace extension to do so.

Q1) My impression is that when you rename a category, the old name stays. Similarly, other changes are not removed, they are just behind the scenes. So, with adding a LOT of categories, and renaming, restructuring a lot, is there some maximum I might hit? (I know this maximum is high, but I'm three days into changes with more to come.)

Q2) I couldn't even begin to do this without the extension Find/Replace, but I find (can't yet figure out a consistent way to show this) that sometimes I create a new category, move some transactions from another category, do the normal bit (including Record), and the changes show up. I then close and reopen Moneydance, and the new category shows a total of 0.00 and it is empty. Thank goodness that the transactions now reappear in the old category, and I can do it over again, and it almost always sticks. Thoughts?

  1. 1 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 24 Nov, 2021 07:50 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Each change creates a log txn. These build up and are useless (really).. There is no limit, just disk space..... But, as always, Toolbox is the answer. Hacker mode, Hacker Menu, shrink dataset...

    I suspect you may have old not cleared txn files... (switching to Slack)....

  2. 2 Posted by mhoggie on 24 Nov, 2021 09:00 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    I've not run into that issue with Find and Replace. l also found it to be a great tool to reorganize your categories. Once you do a Replace or Replace ALL. You should see the changes on your Find and Replace screen before you click Record. Keep a close eye and see if that is happening.

  3. 3 Posted by dtd on 24 Nov, 2021 09:23 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    @mhoggie.... yes, that's exactly what always happens. I make sure the category list changes, before I hit record.

    99% of the time, that's it and I am done. I'm making a LOT of changes, and I only see the action I describe when (and even then it happens only occasionally) - I create a brand new category, and use Find/Replace to populate it with transactions from another pre-existing category. I then see that it worked. I then continue. But if I close and reopen Moneydance, Once In a While, those new categories no longer have any transactions in them.

    I sigh, do it again, and usually then it sticks.

    But yes, I'll keep an eye on when I do replace or replace all, because as you point out, that's the pivotal step. That said, I shouldn't see the transactions in the new place (before I close MD) if I make the mistake at that point.

  4. 4 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 24 Nov, 2021 09:29 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Q2. Changes are only ever in memory and written to a txn file. When you restart MD your changes do not exist (in trunk). Hence you see in Console loading sync’d and unsync’d txns at restart. This reads the new txn files and applies the changes (you made before restart) and saves trunk. Thus when you start MD after a lot of changes you need to wait for the changes to reapply. One trick after a lot of changes, before exit MD, is toolbox, hacker, save trunk file to force an immediate trunk save.

  5. 5 Posted by dtd on 24 Nov, 2021 10:11 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    So, exploring both the before and after:

    Before: I make a lot of changes, and I see them happen. Would waiting for a time HERE help, before I close moneydance, or have they been written to a txn file?

    After: I open MD and see the changes are gone. If I wait for a time HERE, will MD catch up, reading the txn files and saving trunk? i.e. I see no changes at first, but if I wait, MD will fix it? Or "it's too late", I should have waited before I closed MD above?

    From your message I'm going with "Wait before you close MD" given you say the trick is to force a trunk save before exiting, unless you tell me I misinterpreted your message.

    But at least this tells me I'm not crazy! (Well, maybe I am crazy, but your post doesn't verify it... :) )

  6. 6 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 24 Nov, 2021 10:24 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    CMD-S forces MD to do an instant flush from memory to txn file before you exit.

    When opening MD after a lot of changes, I would actually wait for a few mins, then restart MD again to ensure all changes applied.

    If doing a lot of changes I would CMD-S and then save trunk before exiting/restarting MD. But then anyway, always wait a few minutes after opening MD as well, and restart again.

  7. 7 Posted by dtd on 24 Nov, 2021 10:57 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    Cmd-S is something I didn't know about.

    Thanks for the "wait and watch" advice.

  8. 8 Posted by dtd on 25 Nov, 2021 04:26 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    @Stuart - Followup. You were spot on.
    I did the following after many changes with Find/Replace.

    Cmd-S to save data. Close Moneydance.
    Open Moneydance - most of the changes did not seem to be applied...

    Wait about 10 minutes. Close Moneydance. Reopen Moneydance.
    The changes now seem to be applied.

  9. 9 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 25 Nov, 2021 04:34 AM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Hence for mass changes. Save trunk is recommended (by me) before exit.

  10. 10 Posted by dtd on 25 Nov, 2021 04:58 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    You do save trunk via toolbox, right?

    I didn't save trunk, just cmd-s, but it seemed to be ok.

    But yes - Cmd-S followed by Save Trunk in Toolbox helps this a lot.

  11. 11 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 25 Nov, 2021 05:08 AM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    yup.... But only if doing mass changes.. Don't bother otherwise. Examples would be price history purge, mass find/replace etc

  12. 12 Posted by mhoggie on 25 Nov, 2021 04:25 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    Addressing your question about using other fields as categories. Yeah, I can see using the "Memo" field for category purposes depending on how you want to review your activity. A "Memo" field is open text so it would require you to very diligent to make sure you enter the exact text to use as a category every time so you could rely on any search or report you run. Also the only report you could use to search by "Memo" would be the "Transaction Filter" report. You could use the "Tag" field for categories but you would still need to be careful about input (the tag field will create a new tag for you if you enter any text not in an existing tag). But there are several reports where Tags can be the search field. So yeah, you could work Moneydance in a lot of ways. That's what I like about the product. It doesn't severely limit the way you use it. Maybe someday MD will allow you to create your own SQL type of report so you won't be limited by the canned reports. That would really open up ways the product could be used. When you get down to the fundamental value of the application, it's all about monitoring and tracking your financial activities and status so you can stay on top of everything and make intelligent changes to suit your needs. Reports, graphs, status bars, etc. are the keys to understanding your financial situation.

Reply to this discussion

Internal reply

Formatting help / Preview (switch to plain text) No formatting (switch to Markdown)

Attaching KB article:


Attached Files

You can attach files up to 10MB

If you don't have an account yet, we need to confirm you're human and not a machine trying to post spam.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac