Memo field is copied to other side, but editing it then deletes the memo field?

DavidRoss's Avatar


05 Dec, 2022 04:09 AM

I would not normally do this sequence, but I did it to better understand how the memo field is treated.

1. Enter a transaction in the register for an account. For example, in Checking, enter $100 payment to "Insco" and set the category to "Insurance".
2. Enter a memo line ("memo here in Checking").
3. Enter the transaction. Hear the ca-ching.
4. Ctrl+[ to show other side.
5. In the register for the Insurance category, there is the just-entered transaction and the memo field is blank. Select another Insurance transaction and the memo field of the the just-entered transaction fills in with what was in the account register, with []. i.e., "[memo here in Checking]" but that disappears if the memo field is selected.
6. Enter a memo line while in the category register ("memo line here in category")
7. Save the transaction. Now the memo fields are different. This is useful because sometimes you want to say something different in the account register than on the category register for a given transaction.
8. Go back to the Account register and edit the memo field there.

The memo field for the transaction in the category register disappears.

I've attempted to read through the documentation on MD and search the knowledge base, but there doesn't appear to be any clear explanation of whether the memo field is per side of the transaction or one per transaction. I note that the date is always the same for both sides of the transaction (a good thing), check # can be different for each side, as can cleared status (all good). But the behavior of MD when entering memo fields is unclear.

  1. 1 Posted by dtd on 05 Dec, 2022 04:25 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user - linked transactions are indeed a bit problematic, as you have learned.

    I won't restate your message, you've got it down fairly well. The one thing I will mention that has bitten me a few times is that there is a primary transaction and the other is a secondary transaction. They are treated differently (and there is bug I've reported for years) - so whenever you do the above, keep your eye out for one being treated differently than the other.

    Indeed, the brackets [xxx] around certain items designates as the secondary transaction, so that's one way to figure out which one you are working on.

    To your last item - items in brackets are basically copies of the primary transaction, and can be changed, albeit carefully, as there are ghosts in there.

    Hope that helps.

  2. 2 Posted by dtd on 05 Dec, 2022 04:33 AM

    dtd's Avatar
  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Maddy on 07 Dec, 2022 10:29 AM

    Maddy's Avatar


    In brief: while the description applies to all sides of a transaction (including splits), the memo is specific to the side of the transaction where it was entered initially. That's also why when you enter a description for each different split in the "Edit Splits" window, for example, that description appears as a memo in the register on the other side for that split.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

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