Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Shortcuts and Icons for Returns and Schedules

For clients who use the keyboard for navigation, the shortcuts or hotkeys available while editing returns or schedules are listed here in alphabetically.

The navigation panel can be closed from the View menu.



Icon or Feature

Schedule Data Entry Operations


Click the vertical arrows in the icon bar to step backwards or forwards through the active items in the return. The down arrow steps to the next active item; the up arrow steps to the previous active item.

Close All

Click this icon to exit a return, and save and close all open schedules and worksheets.

This action may generate various messages depending on what schedules and worksheets are attached to the return.


Close or Exit

When an online help topic is open [Alt+F4] will close it. If no help topic is open [Alt+F4] will close Tax entirely.


To add the relevant schedule or worksheet to the field click [Alt+S] or click the icon.

If it is mandatory to add a schedule to the field then clicking [Enter] will open that schedule.

Also refer to Working with supporting schedules.

Amend Return

When the Tax return has the status of lodged, it opens as Read-only.

Click the Amend Return icon to create a copy of the lodged return that can be edited, validated, completed, tag for lodgment and lodged.

The ATO allows 9 amendments to a return. A new Amendment Schedule (amd) must be completed each time you amend a return. The values from the amd are lodged electronically with each amendment. In Series 6 & 8, the amended copy will display in the Profiles > Matters > Documents list as an amended return. Refer to About amending Returns.



When active, this key combination deletes additional lines (comprising one or more related fields) that have been added to a return. For example where additional lines have been added to Item 24 in the Individual return [Ctrl+Del] will delete them.


End of Form

This key combination takes you to the end of a form or schedule.

[Ctrl + Home]

Top of Form

This key combination takes you to the top of a form or schedule.


When active, this key combination creates a new line comprising one or more fields for the type of data currently being entered. For example additional lines to Item 24 in the Individual return.

To select from the full list of available forms, schedules and worksheets appropriate to the return being processed, select Preparation > Schedule.

Edit completed form

When the Tax return has been completed, it will be opened in Read-only mode. To change the return to edit mode, click on the Edit completed form icon.

In an open return, the status of the form can be determined from the Navigation panel:



This will display the Help text for the window at which you are positioned. In the main returns [F1] will open help specific to the item being entered.

[F2] Goto

During data entry in a form or schedule, [F2] activates the Goto box. Type the item identifier (3 alphanumerics) and click [Enter] to jump to the item.

Form I only: Click [F2] then [F10] to open a list of hyperlinked items. Click on any item to jump to that item in the return.


During data entry or from the Return Index, [F3] makes the job of fixing Validation Errors easier by taking the user from the interactive Validation Summary straight to the Item in the return.

Details: [F3] also provides the means of accessing the plain English explanations for each error from the Validation Summary by selecting the Details button.

Goto: On the Validation Summary where the word 'Goto' is shown the error is hyperlinked. Click on the error to jump to the relevant field in the return or schedule in order to correct the data.

The list of ELS Validation Errors, Warning Messages and Notes may also be accessed by selecting Help > Lodgment V Messages.


[F4] prepares the estimate of the tax payable or refundable. Refer to Tax Estimate [F4].


(Series 6 & 8)

Copy the schedule

When in a return or schedule, this prompts you to copy the schedule you are working on to another return of your choice. Refer to Copy a Schedule [F5].


This will save any data entered and close the current window.

Do not use [Esc] to close returns and schedules as data may be lost. Always use [F6] unless exiting from an index such as Depreciation index or Capital Gains index.


(AE/Series 6 & 8)

To reduce typing and avoid errors when entering data into a text field in a return or schedule, select [F7] or the icon to display the index of Standard answers available. If known type ^ followed by the code for the Standard answer to default the required text to the description field.

The Standard answers function is available all text fields in income tax returns, schedules and worksheets.

Standard answers are also available in the Depreciation worksheet at fields for Group, Asset, Pool and Project descriptions and in the Capital Gains worksheet for the Asset Item description.


When in a Partnership or Trust form this performs the Distribution of income function.


When in a schedule field, this displays the Note index where you can add or view notes for the field currently being entered.

Any field with a Practice Note attached will have the top left hand corner in-filled in red, as in this example:

For AE, refer to Substantiation Notes and Practice Notes Overview.


[F10] displays the selection list or index relevant to the field from which to make a selection. Where the required entry is known this can be typed directly into the field without viewing the list.

Important: When using the Tab key to step through the return, selection lists are not opened unnecessarily.

Colour coding is used to distinguish:

  • the field currently being entered (label C)

  • fields which are mandatory (label D)

  • fields that are integrated from an attached schedule or worksheet or for any other reason are protected against manual data entry (label E).

Preview the open Return or Schedule

During data entry in a form or return, select the Looking Glass or Preview icon to preview the currently open return or schedule directly.

The open return or schedule becomes the default for the Print Schedule process, so that the client need make no more selections.

You can scroll through the return. To print a single page of the preview, right click and select to Print page xx (where xx represents the number of the page currently displayed).

Return Properties

To edit or view the Return Properties of the currently open return, select the Properties icon.

In AE, this icon is available for the return highlighted in the Return index or the currently open return.

Refer to Customising Return Properties.


During data entry or from the Return Index, [Shift+F2] displays the Summary of Entered Items screen for the return. In AE/Series 6 & 8, both last year and current year details are included by this function. A report may be printed from this function.

Refer to Summary of entered items—shift+F2.


(AE/Series 6 & 8)



When in a return or schedule, this activates the Optimiser. Alternatively, select Preparation > Calculation > Optimiser. Refer to Optimiser.

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.