Guidelines | Technical Notes - ABAP/4 Dictionary Keywords | Examples for the ABAP/4 Dictionary

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Space restrictions may necessitate the use of abbreviations in dialog boxes, for field names in the applications, for lines in the menu bar or pull-down menus and for function key names. Use Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary as the reference for abbreviating words.



Using Abbreviations

Do not use abbreviations if sufficient space is available or if the user rarely accesses a particular screen.

Using Accepted Abbreviations

If there is already an accepted abbreviation for a word, use it. Use abbreviations only if you are sure that the user can easily understand them. In general, do not use abbreviations that consist of only one letter.


Good: Dr.; Su.; mind.; DM

Bad: Dctr; Snday; minmum; Deu. Mark

Explanation: Most abbreviations are known to the user from his/her own work area or through everyday language and not from DP or SAP jargon. Create abbreviations in cooperation with the users.

Creating New Abbreviations

If there is no accepted abbreviation available, words can be abbreviated in accordance with the following guidelines arranged in order of priority.

1. Omitting the end of the word

If possible, abbreviations for individual words should be created by omitting the end of the word. Menu options and function key names should have a period at the end of the word.

Reason: If choosing a menu option or function key results in a dialog box, three periods are usually added to the function name. The abbreviation of a function name can therefore only be recognized here if four periods follow the function name.

In a table column heading, the period should also be used, if possible.


  • "abbreviation" becomes "abb."
  • "date" becomes "dat."
  • "costs" becomes "cost."

2. Omitting vowels

Vowels should only be omitted if you cannot form a meaningful word fragment. Vowels that do not influence the pronunciation of the word very much can be left out.


  • "profession" becomes "prfssn."
  • "group" becomes "grp."

3. Creating an acronym

Acronyms (artificially created new terms consisting of the first letters of the word fragments or individual words) should only be created if this is clear from the application field (for example, GR for goods receipt in Purchasing) or if this is required for table column headings.

If acronyms are used, they should be included in a list for an application area. This list must be regularly updated and distributed to the other applications. You should always use existing acronyms for other abbreviations of words which contain the same word fragment.


  • "Data Processing" becomes "DP"
  • "Human Resources" becomes "HR"
  • "General Ledger" becomes "GL"

Note: Never use a closing period if the last letter of a word is contained in the abbreviation.

  • For example, "screen" becomes "scrn". The word fragment "number" is generally no longer used in the field name.

Abbreviating Two-Word Structure

The guidelines for creating a new abbreviation apply here as well.

The individual word fragments are not separated by a period. Each new word fragment always begins with a capital letter if the previous word fragment has been abbreviated.


  • "Start date" becomes "StrtDate"
  • "Document type" becomes "DocType"
  • "Tolerance key" becomes "TolKey"

Abbreviating Several Words

Proceed as follows when abbreviating several words:

Step 1

If the previous word was abbreviated according to the guideline "Omitting The End of the Word", it should end with a period and be followed by a blank, if there is enough space.


  • "Fixed vendor" becomes "Fix. vendor"
    or even "Fix.vendor"
  • "Next object" becomes "Nex. object"
    or even "Nex.object"
  • "Fixed capacity requirement" becomes "Fix. CapReq."
    or even "Fix.CapRep."

Step 2

If the last letter of the word is used, insert a blank between the words.


  • "Create new charge" becomes "Crte new chrg."
  • "Fixed vendor" becomes "Fixed vend."

Step 3

If the second or a following word is written in lowercase, use the lowercase.


  • "Fixed date" becomes "Fix. date"

Choosing From Several Words

If you look at the short descriptions in the ABAP/4 Dictionary, you can also find complete phrases, such as "Fixed machine-related capacity requirements in hours". For the abbreviation, you should only choose the significant words. You may need to change the word order to form a suitable abbreviation. The guidelines 1. to 3. apply for the creation of abbreviations.


  • "Fixed machine-related capacity requirements in hours" becomes "Mach.fix" or "Mach. fix"


In the case of different abbreviations for words which consist of more than two word fragments, you should make sure that individual word fragments are not completely omitted. Otherwise, it could result in the impression that two different things are meant. For example, "Minimum order amount" could be abbreviated to "MinAmount" and also to "MinOrdAmount". Here, it is better to use either "MinOAmt" or "MinOrdAmount", so that the word fragment "order" is not forgotten.


Technical Notes - ABAP/4 Dictionary Keywords

In the ABAP/4 Dictionary, four field names of different length have already been predefined:

  • Short keywords, length 10 (field name)
  • Medium keywords, length 15 (field name)
  • Long keywords, length 20 (field name)
  • Header, maximum length 55 (table headings)

Field names for table headings are entered under header. The length of the header is determined by the length of the output field.

Field names before input/output fields are entered under keywords. The basic guideline is that the entered words should always be two letters shorter than the displayed or entered length. In this case, you should whenever possible use the proposed lengths to facilitate the translation.

The difference between the length entered in the ABAP/4 Dictionary and the length of the field name itself may be smaller than two in cases where the word can be written out and where you cannot abbreviate usefully by omitting two letters (this particularly occurs in case of the 10-character keywords).


Examples for the ABAP/4 Dictionary

The following examples are listed in ABAP/4 Dictionary sequence. Here, you can define field names in four different lengths: short - medium - long - header (see Technical notes). The length of the output field is given in parenthesis.

  • Transaction Type (Inventory Management): Trans.type (10), Transaction type (20), Transaction type (15), TType (5)
  • Object Group Number: ObjGrp. (10), Object group (20), Object group (15), ObjGrp. (7)
  • Fixed Vendor: Fixed vendor (10), Fixed vendor (20), Fixed vendor (15), (6)
  • Fixed Operator-Related Capacity Requirements in Hours: Fixed pers (10), Fixed personnel (20), Fixed personnel (15), F.pers (5)
  • Invoice Receipt Quantity: IR quantity (10), IR quantity (20), IR quantity (15), IR qu. (6)
  • Tolerance Key: Tol. key (10), Tolerance key (20), Tolerance key (15), Tol. (4)
  • Formula Number Unit Costing: Formula no. (10), Formula number (20), Formula number (15), FNo (3)
  • Volume Variance on Order: Vol.var. (10), Vol.var. Order (20), Vol.var.order (15), VVarO. (7)
    or if there is not enough space: VVarO (6), that is, the period may also be omitted in headers.
  • Number of Price Components: No.PrC. (10), No. price comp. (20), No.price comp. (15), Pc (2)


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Source:  SAP Reference Lists