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Adding a Check Number Field to the Quicken Essentials for Mac Registry [Updated]

I've noticed that a number of people have found my site via Google looking for a way to add the check numbers field in the Quicken Essentials for Mac registry. I was initially befuddled by this issue, too, when I didn't see any place for check numbers. And yet, I could select a past transaction that had a check number and the inspector told me the number was there. Despite Quicken's parent company name (Intuit), I found that adding a check number field was not very intuitive at all. Nevertheless, I found it.

If you want to add the check number field, go to your rightmost column, which is probably unnamed. Right click on the blank title space to reveal a list of columns that can be included in the visible registry. Choose Number and your check numbers will now display in your registry.

Note also that the columns can be rearranged in any order you want simply by dragging their title field at the top. This is certainly a nice improvement over the previous version.

UPDATE MARCH 20, 2010: This week, Intuit released an update, Quicken Essentials version 1.3f4519, which adds a Columns command to the View menu, bringing the program better in alignment with standard Mac interface standards.

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Reader Comments (18)

It may not be intuitive, but right-clicking on the column header is exactly the same way that you add columns in iTunes. So, intuitive, no. Consistent with Apple's own apps, yes.

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelC

Michael, you're absolutely correct. QEM does behave just like iTunes in this regard. I think, however, a lot of folks are doing what I first did. I went to the View menu. In iTunes, there's a View Options under the View menu that gives the user all the options for fields that can be seen. Perhaps in a future version of QEM, they could add this to the View menu as well.

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

The problem with this is that every time you launch Quicken, the setting is lost - and needs to be manually reset. Why should I have to do Intuit's work for them?

More importantly, where is the fix for the inability to track investments? The inability to bank online? The inability to share data files? The inability to handle all the other features that previous versions and the Windows version handle?

March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

@Joe, that's absolutely not true. The setting is not lost at all every time Quicken is relaunched. Early on I set up which columns I want and in what order I wanted them (a feature that was not possible in previous versions) and they are there each time I launch Quicken just as I left them. And I've probably started Quicken Essentials about 30 times by now.

As to where all these other things are, we've been through this in my earlier post. They've started over. This is a v. 1.x program. Other features will be added in time.

You never answered my earlier question--in light of where things had digressed with Quicken, would you have rather they released what they had this year (as represented in Quicken Essentials) or waited at least another year to add the more advanced features? You can't have it both ways. Personally, I'm glad they released what they had although I look forward to the more advanced features down the road.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

@R. Mansfield:
Apparently, something is different about your setup - there are a number of forums where people are reporting that the Number column is lost on restart. I'm not going to spend money on this junk, so I don't know for sure.

"in light of where things had digressed with Quicken, would you have rather they released what they had this year (as represented in Quicken Essentials) or waited at least another year to add the more advanced features?"

I would rather have them not release a POS software package which is so disabled as to be useless. I'm still using an older version. There is absolutely NOTHING gained by releasing this version - the older version works and the new version is grossly crippled. Just who benefits from their releasing a crippled version rather than continuing to sell the old one? No one - except Intuit.

Frankly, the supposition that they will add enough features to make this useful is flawed. They haven't kept their promises wrt Mac users for a decade now. Just why would you believe that they're going to start now?

Apparently, Intuit has STILL not learned to do software development. They've had how long - 2 decades? - to get this right. Proper software development would have involved writing the core in machine independent code and then having only the UI vary between Mac and Windows (and, if they wish, Linux) versions. It would have taken far less effort to do that properly than to start from scratch multiple times. AND, the platforms would have the same features, files would be interchangeable, and there would be none of this foolishness of requiring banks to do twice as much work to support Mac clients.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

@Joe, there's nothing special or different about my setup. I simply downloaded QEM from Intuit's website. Fortunately, I've had nothing lost on restart.

I do have Quicken 2007 still installed just for the very reason that QEM is a 1.x program. If, for some reason, it cannot do the things I was doing before, I can always go back. I'll probably still keep it for a few months in light of things, but thankfully, I've not yet had problems.

Why am I willing to believe things have changed with Intuit in regard to Mac users? Two reasons: (1) I saw the beta of Quicken Financial Life and it was a real dog. Despite this, they had a good bit of development poured into it, so it was a costly move for them to start over a second time. I respect that. And (2) since Aaron Patzer of is now in charge of Intuit's Quicken division, I have high hopes.

Time will tell, but I believe they are heading in the right direction. I disagree with your assertion that nothing was gained by releasing this version. It's proof of their new direction, and it allows many users including myself, to be able to stop using the old PowerPC version which creates a drag on one's system. But software isn't programmed overnight; it takes time. I'm happy with this interim updated, and I look forward to more capable versions in the future.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

I am trying to right click the blank title bar in the top right and nothing happens. I would like to have the check #s and reconcile box shown. Any suggestions? Note: If I click the title bar in the other columns it turns dark grey but no group of titles to choose from.
Thanks for any suggestions.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlc

@lc, my hunch is that you don't have right click (or more accurately "contextual clicks" enabled on your Mac. Humor me and right click on your blank Mac desktop. If you don't see a contextual menu I'm right.

You can always control-click to bring up the menu in Quicken, or you can go to your system preferences for your mouse or trackpad and enable contextual clicks.

Please report back and let me know if one of these options worked.

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

It works! Thank you SOOOOO much. Not having the things I'm used to was driving me crazy.
Thanks again.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlc

thanks for your help with the mouse not set to use right click.

the issue of always seeing the reconcile column was bothering me

thanks again

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterG Milan

If you're subscribed to the comments in this post, I've added a brief update in regard to the new Columns command on the View menu in Quicken Essentials. This will make finding fields such as check numbers much easier to find.

March 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

Thank you so much for the info on the check number. I was also baffled to not it since one would think it would be obvious for a checking account register.

April 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterS. Ryan

I am new to Mac. Had a PC that crashed and decided to go apple. I have used Quicken for like 14 years on windows. I am really struggling to set up Mac version with what I am used to. :( I appreciate so much the info on adding the check number column. I wasted so much time trying to figure that out. In an effort not to waste more....could anyone tell me how to have it automatically go to next transaction addition instead of having to hit New with mouse. I was used to being able to control so many settings with the tool bar and now I feel lost. :(

October 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Owens

Thank you so much for the MAC Essentials check number information. I have used Quicken with PC since at least January of 1993 (the data I still have). It was a big deal for me to leave the PC world a month ago, which I entered before Microsoft began. Intuit needs to "get it". We are beginning to move and we are trusting that Intuit will catch up with us. It is a big struggle to settle for MAC Essentials, but worth it! I love Mac. I would have left Intuit, but after a lot of research I decided to trust that Intuit means it when the management says they will catch up. I will wait for awhile.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterT Weaver

Thanks, you save my day, I almost remove the program and go back to Quicken for PC.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterA. de Jesus

Thanks! The check number field added for me. However, the balance column stopped populating data when I made this change. Suggestions?

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNew Mac User

Great I can see the check number column but what the heck it will not auto populate with the next number. Mircrosoft's Money always did and their free version does as well. I am struggling with sticking with this mac quicken deal of go back to Microsoft and a stand alone PC. MAC / Quicken have disappointed me in so many ways but I have invested way too much $$ to drop at this point.

November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike, I'm not going to defend Quicken, because I think they give Mac users the short end of the stick in numerous ways.

Supposedly, there's a new version coming, but we don't know when, and I've yet to get any exact answer as to whether it will feature full feature parity with the Windows version or not.

If you decide to go back to Windows Quicken, I'd recommend using VMWare or Parallels on your Mac to run the Windows version rather than getting a second machine. That would certainly be much less expensive.

November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterR. Mansfield

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