How To: Quickly Update a NetSuite Read Only Field

This article is relevant if you are working in NetSuite and you need to update a field but it is presented as read only.


Often times, NetSuite form definitions will present information in a read only fashion. ¬†This can be set by using the “Inline HTML” or “Disabled” Display Type definitions in the Custom Form definitions. ¬† ¬†However, there may be times that you need to quickly change information on a record and you don’t want to revert to using another form or performing a CSV update.

Learn the Quick Browser Inspect Mechanism to Modify NetSuite Field Values

Because NetSuite is a web browser application, we have the ability to inspect programmable client-side elements of the system. ¬†The trick then is to learn how to “inspect” those programming elements so they can be manipulated. ¬† I personally use Google Chrome as my primary browser. ¬† To get to Chrome’s Developer Tools on a Mac, use keyboard sequence Alt-Command-I to pop open a console (see associated image for a menu option). ¬†All the major browsers have an equivalent mode of operation.

Once the console is open, you need to know the internal field ID of the element you wish to modify.  See this article on how to view internal field IDs in the NetSuite application.  With that information in hand, you need to issue the following NetSuite SuiteScript API command:

nlapiSetFieldValue('[your internal field id]', '[your value]')

See associated image for an element I wished to update.  I typed the command and pressed Enter on  the keyboard.  At the point, I could see the value had changed on the form indicating I did it right.  Once the read only value was updated, I saved the record as normal. Fast!

Let’s Work Together to Make Using NetSuite Better

If you are a NetSuite power user or consultant, and you hold high standards for care, perhaps we can help others get more from the platform.  Let’s have a conversation.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to setup a conversation.

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| Tags: , , , | Category: NetSuite, Technical | 2 Comments

One Comment

  1. Ady Oren
    Posted July 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to say thank you for posting this article. It is a true life saver.

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