Using AbtracOnLine: Data Entry and Navigation Tips

There’s a difference between how to do things, and how things work.

If you are new to AbtracOnLine, be it coming to Abtrac from our desktop version or another system, we have a few pointers to ensure you get off to the best possible start.

This article contains a lot of our tips and tricks about the Abtrac interface. When you are getting started, it’s worth a read to learn all the little tweaks and tricks to ensure you have Abtrac looking, feeling and working in a way that suits you.

Read on to learn how to use AbtracOnLine, and how to…

  • Use the fastest browser available to run Abtrac
  • Create a desktop icon
  • Navigate using the Abtrac Menu, jump to relevant pages from within Abtrac tables, and other tricks with your Browser Bar
  • Keep an eye out for Pop-ups and new Tabs

This article also talks about…

  • Getting in the habit of saving your data
  • Hovering over buttons to learn what they do
  • How grids, tables and pages work
  • How to get the data in a certain page looking just the way you want it to with user settings.

Run Abtrac using Google Chrome

chromeAll you need to run Abtrac is a contemporary device with access to the internet.

Although if we were being fussy, our geeks do recommend you run AbtracOnLine in Google Chrome- it’s the fastest browser available – and you may as well use the best, right?

If you don’t have Google Chrome installed on your device it’s available free from Google here.

Creating a Desktop and Taskbar Icon

To create a desktop and taskbar icon, click on the link below to open the AbtracOnLine website. Choose the Chrome Menu (three dots in the upper-right corner) >> More Tools >> Create shortcut.


2020-07-28_create shortcut

A small window will appear where you can name your shortcut icon, it also contains an option to: ‘Open as window’.

It’s best to leave this checkbox blank, in order to create a new Chrome tab with browser bar every time you click the icon. (This will ensure downloads and notifications are received and seen)

2020-07-28_desktopOnce you have a desktop icon, you can right click from the desktop to pin the application to the taskbar.

Navigation: The Abtrac Menu and your Browser

The Abtrac main menu navigates all the primary pages for Abtrac. Some pages (like Job details) have an additional secondary menu.


2020-07-28_job details1Within many screens and tables in Abtrac you can right-click to jump to additional relevant pages.2020-08-27_timesheetYou can also open multiple Abtrac pages at one time, by using your browser tools. Right click on any menu option and choose open in a new tab or window. Your browser navigation dots can also be used to refresh and go back.

2020-08-27_timesheet 2

*Please Note – If you are opening multiple windows take care. Unless your current page has updated/refreshed you might not be seeing data that has been recently entered on another page.

Use your browser bar to keep an eye out for new windows, pop-ups and downloads.

New Windows and Tabs

Reports will open in a new tab by default, so keep an eye out for new windows (and multiple windows) if you are running several reports or re-running variations of the same report.

2020-08-28_report previewPop-ups

Abtrac uses Pop-ups for some notification messages and data checks like the one below.

2020-07-29_popup message1

In most cases AbtracOnLine is ready to go with Google Chrome and doesn’t require any additional configuration, however on occasion a browser may block AbtracOnLine pop-ups and downloads.

2020-08-28_popup blocked cropped

If you notice this icon in your browser bar then you’ll need to add to your browser exceptions – follow this link for instructions.

Entering data.


You need to save every entry.

When entering data you need to save your record before moving onto the next field or the next screen.

If you are working in a table your save button will be either within the row you are editing, or within the table footer. In other edit/entry screens your save button is usually either top or bottom right.

Hover for tips on what a button does.

Other buttons represent similar actions across all the pages. You’ll see add, expand, print, edit and delete buttons on most screens too. You can hover your cursor over a button to see it’s function on any specific page.

Data Entry screens, and tips for using Abtrac Tables (Grids)

There are three main types of data screens in Abtrac.

  • Permanent Forms
  • Pop-out editing (Forms within Tables)
  • Inline editing within Tables

Some pages display data much like a report. Information can be entered directly into these screens. When adding a new record the required fields have a red asterisk*.

If the form contains a drop down option (Like Job Type below) you can add to these lists from Administration >> Maintenance.

2020-07-28_job details2

Others pages display data in a table(grid), but to enter data you must pop out the Edit Record (the pencil button), to expand the entry and open the editing form within the table.

Others pages allow you to enter data within the table (grid) directly.

Sometimes you are required to save each row, in others you can save all the row changes for the table at once (it depends on the page and data involved).

If a row/rows within a table are unsaved then they will be highlighted green, until the record is saved.

2020-08-28_timesheet edit crosstabgrid

Tips for using Abtrac Tables (also known as Data Grids)

The support team are often asked simple questions about searching, filtering and getting things just right  – particularly when you are starting out using AbtracOnLine.

  • The way the grids and columns in each screen are displayed can be customised for all users by an administrator
  • All grids can be filtered and sorted as a one-off at any time
  • Some grids (like timesheets) can also be customised at a user level
  • Each Abtrac user can also choose how many rows they see  – for all the grids accessed under their login
  • Using Grid Layout anyone can save their own specific layouts (including filtering and grouping) on certain screens

Follow this link for tricks to filtering and sorting, and a few handy ‘everyday use’ tips for using Abtrac Grids.

Abtrac KB# 2065