Building Models

Dimensions and Elements: Explained

1st Oct, 2020

Quick Start Tutorial:

Create Dimension

To create a new dimension in MODLR there are two options:

Option 1:

  1. Click on the actions button in the top right corner.
  2. Select “New Dimension” from the dropdown.

Option 2:

  1. Click the “Dimensions” tab.
  2. Click on the “New Dimension” button.

Dimension Types

There are multiple options of dimensions types which we will go over in a future tutorial. But for this tutorial, we will utilise the ‘Standard’ dimension.

  1. Click the Dimensions type bar.
  2. Select ‘Standard’ dimension type.
  3. Click “Create Dimension”.


We can create and edit hierarchies within our dimension using MODLR.

After creating your dimension either:

  • Double-clicking on the name of the new dimension.


  • Click the manage button on the right-hand side.

When we are at the dimension management screen we have multiple options to add hierarchies, edit, or delete them on the left-hand side.

Creating Elements

For this example, we will use a very basic Operating Income account structure starting with creating an Operating Income element.

  1. On the top-left hand side, double click “edit” next to the “Default” hierarchy.
  2. On the new blank line type out : “Operating Income”.
  3. Press the ‘Enter’ key.
  4. Now we have our first element in our hierarchy.

Child Elements

To add child elements to our “Operating Income” element we:

  1. Go to the next line using the ‘Enter’ key.
  2. Press the ‘Tab’ key.
  3. Type out the name of the child element, in this example, it will be “Gross Profit”.
  4. Hit the ‘Enter’ key to move on to the next line.

Here we now have the “Gross Profit” element as the child element of our “Operating Income” element. Using the same process we can add child elements, to the “Gross Profit” element.

  1. Repeating the previous process of entering child elements (Child elements, Step 1-3) we will type out the account code “4-000” element then repeat the process and create the “5-000” child element.

To stop making children for Gross Profit:

  1. Press ‘Tab’ back until we are in line with Gross Profit.
  2. We can add Operating Expenses using the element creation process (Child elements, Step 1-3).
  3. Type the element “6-000”.

This is once again a child of Operating Income.

Creating Aliases

While using account codes can be useful, you may want things to be clearer in some situations. For this, we can use aliases. Which are effectively nicknames which can be turned on in your reports.

So to create Aliases:

  1. Go to the left-hand side and click ‘Add’ next to the word Account Aliases.
  2. Type out “Name”.
  3. Click the “Add Alias” button.

This will create Aliases linked to names for the elements.


Click on ‘Edit’ next to the newly created “Name” Alias.

Another pop-up box will come out with the existing elements in your dimension. You can create Aliases of each element in the blank box next to them.

We will rename our account code elements into their Accounting Names:

  1. Next to “4-000” type “Revenue”.
  2. Next to “5-000” type “Cost of Goods Sold”.
  3. Next to “6-000” type Operating Expenses.
  4. Click the “Save Alias” button.

Creating automated adjustments:

If you link your accounting system with MODLR, there are a series of automations we can provide for your calculations. One being automated subtraction.

If we:

  • Type “[-1]” in front of child element “Cost of Goods sold”, this will change the sign of the values when this element is being added into its parent element.
  • Type “[S]” in front of an element, which will allow the cell to accept text, as well as numbers, to be entered. This is usually only used on elements within a measures dimension.